Homovanillic Acid (HVA), 24-Hour Urine

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Turnaround Time: 3 - 6 days
CPT Code:


Test Type: 4 mL aliquot Urine
Stability Time:



Room temperature

14 days


14 days


14 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3

Reference Range:

0.0-10.0 mg/24 hours


Diagnose neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroblastoma, and pheochromocytoma; follow course of tumor treatment. This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by LabCorp. It has not been cleared or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

HVA is the major terminal metabolite of the dopamine pathway. VMA is the major terminal metabolite of the norepinephrine pathway. HVA is often excreted in excess amounts by neuroblastomas, ganglioneuroblastomas, pheochromocytomas, and in Riley-Day syndrome. Excretion may be intermittent. Plasma HVA is increased in schizotypal personality disorders. Approximately 20% of subjects with neuroblastoma do not have increased VMA.

Collection Details:

Patient Preparation:

Patient should avoid aspirin, disulfiram, reserpine, and pyridoxine, if possible, at least 48 hours prior to collection of the specimen. Levodopa should be avoided for two weeks before collection.

Collection Instructions:

Record total 24-hour urine volume on the request form.

Plastic urine container (6N HCl is optional).

Instruct the patient to void at 8 AM and discard the specimen. Then collect all urine including the final specimen voided at the end of the 24-hour collection period (ie, 8 AM the next morning). Measure and record total urine volume. Mix well; send aliquot. Label container with patient's name, date and time collection started, and date and time collection finished.

Maintain specimen at room temperature.