Measurement of catecholamines and their metabolites

Ann Clin Biochem 2004;41:17-38
doi:10.1258/000456304322664663
© 2004 Association for Clinical Biochemistry

 

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What’s this?

Review Articles


Robert T Peaston and
Cyril Weinkove


Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE7 7DN, UK;
Hope Hospital Salford M6 8HD, UK

Analysis of the low levels of catecholamines and metabolitesin tissue and biological fluids has necessitated the use ofhighly sensitive analytical techniques. Earlier procedures utilizingradioenzymatic and immunological assays, gas chromatographyor fluorimetry have generally been superseded by highly sensitiveand selective chromatographic methods utilizing electrochemicalor fluorimetric detection. The development of high-performanceliquid chromatography (HPLC) methods for the measurement ofplasma metadrenalines and the combination of HPLC with tandemmass spectrometry provides additional procedures with minimuminterference from drugs and drug metabolites. This review summarizesthe methodology currently available for the measurement of catecholaminesand metabolites in plasma and urine, the influence of samplecollection protocols and the clinical application of the methodsfor the biochemical detection of catecholamine-secreting tumours.


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