Catecholamine blood test

Catecholamine Blood Test

A catecholamine blood test is used to measure levels of catecholamines, chemicals produced by your body that can affect your heart rate, blood pressure, and other functions.

Preparation: No preparation is required before a catecholamine blood test. However, your doctor may ask you to fast overnight before the test, meaning no food or beverages other than water.

Procedure: People having a catecholamine test will have their blood drawn. Blood will be drawn from your arm in a lab. The area will be wiped with an antiseptic to prevent infection, and a needle and tube will be inserted. The needle will be removed and a bandage applied. A lab technician will send the sample to a lab for testing.

Types: The types of catecholamines that can be tested include norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine.

Why: Your doctor may order a catecholamine test if they suspect you have a tumor in your adrenal gland (pheochromocytoma). A catecholamine test can also be used to check how certain medications are affecting your body.

When: Catecholamine tests may also be ordered when an individual is showing symptoms of a condition known as neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that affects the nervous system.

Risks: The risks associated with a catecholamine blood test are minimal. Blood may be drawn incorrectly, leading to bruising or infection. There may also be a slight risk of a hematoma, a buildup of blood beneath the site of the needle.