Vanillylmandelic Acid (VMA), Random Urine

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Turnaround Time: 4 - 7 days
CPT Code:

82570, 84585

Test Type: 10 mL aliquot, Urine
Stability Time:



Room temperature

7 days


14 days


14 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3

Reference Range:

Pediatric patients1 and adults: VMA:creatinine ratio

• Up to 2 years: 0.0−18.8 mg/g creatinine

• 2 to 4 years: 0.0−11.0 mg/g creatinine

• 5 to 9 years: 0.0−8.3 mg/g creatinine

• 10 to 19 years: 0.0−8.2 mg/g creatinine

• Older than 19 years: 0.0−6.0 mg/g creatinine


Pediatric testing for the evaluation of hypertension; diagnose and follow up neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroma, and ganglioneuroblastoma. Most neuroblastoma patients excrete excess HVA in 24-hour collections. If VMA and HVA are both used in work-up, up to 80% of all cases will be detected.

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by LabCorp. It has not been cleared or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Some neuroblastoma patients are positive for urinary homovanillic acid abnormality but do not excrete increased VMA. Twenty percent to 32% of patients with neuroblastoma do not have elevation of VMA. Many will have other laboratory abnormalities such as increased metanephrines, homovanillic acid (HVA), or dopamine.

1. Soldin SJ, Hill JG. Liquid chromatographic analysis for urinary 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymandelic acid and 4-hydroxy-3-mehoozyphenylacetic acid and Its use in investigation of neural crest tumors. Clin Chem. 1981; 27(3):502-503. PubMed 7471405

Bio-Rad VMA. Package insert. October 1989.

Kaplan LA, Pesce AJ. Clinical Chemistry, Theory, Analysis, and Correlation. St Louis, Mo: CV Mosby Co;1989.

Collection Details:

Patient Preparation:

Patient should avoid salicylates, caffeine, phenothiazine, and antihypertension agents. Also coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit (especially bananas and any vanilla-containing substances for 72 hours prior to collection).

Collection Instructions:

Use for patients where 24-hour urine collection is difficult (eg, pediatric patients). Twenty-four-hour urine collection is preferable (see Vanillylmandelic Acid (VMA), 24-Hour Urine [004143]).

Plastic urine container.

If specimen is to be stored for longer than seven days before analysis, use random urine transport tube.

Vanillylmandelic acid is stable at room temperature unpreserved for seven days.