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Test Code VMA/HVA VMA/HVA, Serum

Clinical System Name



Homovanillic acid

Vanilmandelic acid



This test is used to screen children for catecholamine-secreting tumors and to support a diagnosis of neuroblastoma.

Sample Requirements

Specimen: Whole blood

Container(s): Gold SST, Red, Dark Green/Sodium Heparin, Lavendar/EDTA

Preferred Vol: 2 mL

Minimum Vol: 1 mL


Note: Microtainers are acceptable if a minimum of 0.6mL of serum/plasma is available for testing.


Processing Instructions

Reject due to: Microtainer

Spin: Y

Aliquot: Y

Temp: - 20 C

Storage location: CPA Freezer, Fz3 rack. Store the label with the specimen.


Off-site collection: Spin blood, send serum/plasma frozen.


Specimen Type Temperature Time
serum/plasma Room temp 24 h
  Refrigerated 1 m
  Frozen 2 y



STAT Performed TAT
N T 3 - 10 d


Samples received in lab by 10:00 am on Tuesday will be set up and reported by Wednesday.


Contact Chemistry Lab for request outside of stated availability. (206) 987-2565

Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory    



Department:  Chemistry

Location: Chem West

Phone Number: (206) 987-2617




Reference Range


VMA </= 20 ng/mL
HVA </= 30 ng/mL



Method: LC/MS/MS

Analytical Volume: 0.5 mL serum/plasma



  1. Metaclopramide (Reglan) causes an endogenous transient elevation of HVA. VMA is not affected. Blood samples for HVA measurement should be drawn before receiving Reglan. Ondansetron (a serotonin receptor antagonist) also causes transient elevations in HVA.
  2. Quercetin causes an endogenous elevation of HVA. Wait 1 week after the last dose before drawing blood samples for HVA.

CPT Codes

84585, 83150