Elevated urinary dopamine in adults and children

Ann Clin Biochem 2005;42:200-207
© 2005 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


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Original Articles

D Fraser Davidson

Biochemistry Department, Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire KA2 0BE, UK

Background: Information on the significance of an elevated urinarydopamine is limited and can lead to misinterpretation of thecause of such a finding. This laboratory-based study examinesthe associations with elevated dopamine gathered from a significantnumber of patients.

Methods: The urine catecholamine and metabolite results of specimens(analysed by HPLC-ECD) from 5933 adults and 467 children wereexamined retrospectively over a 57-month period. Those withelevated dopamine were identified and the explanation for thisfinding was sought.

Results: In adults, the conditions associated with an elevateddopamine were: urine over-collection; drug effects (includingthose due to intravenous dopamine, L-dopa, methyldopa, clozapine,antidepressants and metoclopramide); clinical effects (includingthose due to phaeochromocytoma, carcinoid tumour and pregnancy).In children, high urine dopamine was found in cases of neuroblastoma,Costello syndrome, leukaemia, phaeochromocytoma, Menkes diseaseand rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder.

Conclusions: A high urine dopamine was found in <3% of adulturine specimens. It was most commonly associated with: over-collection,probable drug effects and neural crest tumours. Neuroblastomawas the most common cause of elevated dopamine in children’sspecimens, although other associations are described. Some awaitexplanation.

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