Catecholamines, Fractionated, Plasma

Test Code

CPT Codes

Dopamine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine and Total Catecholamines (calculated)

Preferred Specimen
4 mL plasma collected in a sodium heparin (green-top) tube

Patient Preparation
Patients should be relaxed in either a supine or upright position before blood is drawn. States of anxiety and stress can cause fluctuations in the catecholamine levels. Draw specimen in a pre-chilled green-top vacutainer. Patient should avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco and strenuous exercise prior to collection.
Overnight fasting is preferred.

Minimum Volume
2.5 mL

Other Acceptable Specimens
Plasma collected in: Lithium heparin (green-top) or sodium heparin lead-free (tan-top)

After drawing specimen, place green-top tube in an ice bath. Centrifuge 20 minutes 1000xg. The plasma must be free of RBC's. Freeze on dry ice to transport.

Transport Temperature

Specimen Stability

Room temperature: 6 hours
Refrigerated: 6 hours
Frozen: 30 days

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) • Electrochemical Detection

FDA Status
This test was developed and its analytical performance characteristics have been determined by Quest Diagnostics Nichols. It has not been cleared or approved by the FDA. This assay has been validated pursuant to the CLIA regulations and is used for clinical purposes.

Setup Schedule

Recent surgery, traumatic injury, upright posture, cold, anxiety, pain, clonidine withdrawal, and concurrent acute or chronic illness may produce elevated results.

Reference Range
See Laboratory Report

Clinical Significance
The three catecholamines (norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine) are the principal secretory products of neural tissue. Clinically, the measurement of circulating catecholamines is valuable in the diagnosis of catecholamine secreting tumors associated chiefly with hypertension (pheochromocytomas, neuroblastomas, and gangliomas) and with the evaluation of orthostatic hypotension.

Performing Laboratory

Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute
33608 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92690-6130

The CPT Codes provided in this document are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payor being billed. Any Profile/panel component may be ordered separately. Reflex tests are performed at an additional charge.