Homovanilic Acid - 24 hr Urine

Homovanilic Acid - 24 hr Urine

Homovanilic Acid (HVA) is a major metabolite of dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain. Dopamine is involved in regulating mood and emotion, among other functions. The Homovanilic Acid - 24 hr Urine Test measures the levels of HVA in the urine over a 24-hour period. It is primarily used to diagnose and monitor neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that develops from nerve cells and often occurs in infants and children.

During the test, you'll collect all your urine over a 24-hour period. It's important to collect all the urine you produce during this time, as missing any can lead to inaccurate results. This type of testing provides a more comprehensive view of the fluctuations in your HVA levels throughout the day.

  • Test NameHomovanilic Acid - 24 hr Urine
  • Sample TypeUrine
  • Preparations RequiredThere is no need for fasting or any specific preparation. You should follow your normal diet and hydrate well unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare provider
  • Report Time5 Days

Why would my doctor order this test?

Your doctor might order this test if they suspect you have a neuroblastoma or if you are being monitored for this condition. symptoms of neuroblastoma can vary widely but may include fatigue, loss of appetite, and unexplained fever.

How should I prepare for this test?

No special preparation is necessary for this test. You should eat and drink as you normally would.

Home Sample Collection Process
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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

You will collect all your urine in a special container over a 24-hour period. It's important to follow the instructions carefully to ensure the test's accuracy.

High levels of HVA can be a sign of neuroblastoma or other conditions that affect dopamine metabolism. Low levels can be associated with Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders.

The test results are not typically affected by diet or hydration status. However, certain medications may affect the test results, so it's important to inform your healthcare provider of any medications you are taking.

The test is generally considered reliable, but like all tests, there may be factors that can affect the accuracy. For example, if the urine sample is not stored properly, or if the entire 24-hour sample is not collected, it could affect the results.

If you are being monitored for neuroblastoma or another condition, you may need to have this test done periodically to assess your response to treatment or monitor disease progression.

While this test is primarily used to help diagnose or monitor neuroblastoma, elevated HVA levels can also be seen in other conditions such as phaeochromocytoma, a rare tumour of the adrenal glands.

Typically, the results are available within 5-7 days, but this can vary depending on the laboratory.

If your results are abnormal, it's important to discuss them with your doctor. They can help interpret the results and advise you on any necessary next steps.

There are no significant risks associated with this test as it is non-invasive and involves only the collection of urine.

Other tests, such as imaging tests or biopsy, may be used in conjunction with this test to diagnose or monitor conditions like neuroblastoma. However, these tests provide different types of information and are not replacements for the Homovanilic Acid - 24 hr Urine Test.

Yes, certain medications may affect the levels of HVA in your urine. It's important to inform your healthcare provider of any medications you are taking.

Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, attention, movement, and the brain's reward system. Disorders of dopamine metabolism can result in a variety of neurological and psychiatric conditions.

Yes, you can continue with your usual activities. However, it's important to ensure you collect all your urine during the 24-hour period to get an accurate result.

During the collection period, the urine should be kept refrigerated or in a cool place.

Yes, factors such as improper sample collection or storage, certain medications, and severe kidney or liver disease can affect the results.

While low levels of HVA can be associated with Parkinson's disease, the test is not typically used for diagnosis. Other tests and clinical symptoms are usually considered.

The method of receiving your test results depends on the practices of your healthcare provider or the testing facility. Some may provide printed results, others may use an online portal, or they may discuss the results with you in person.

Lifestyle modifications are not typically used to influence HVA levels as they're usually indicative of underlying metabolic or disease processes. Treatment or management of the underlying condition is generally the primary focus.

The frequency of testing depends on your individual circumstances and why the test was initially ordered. Your healthcare provider will advise you on the need for repeat testing.

The urine collection can certainly be done at home, but the analysis of the sample is done in a laboratory. You'll receive specific instructions about how to collect and store the sample for the test.

Yes, this test can be done on individuals of any age, including children, if indicated by their doctor. However, the reason for testing and the interpretation of results should be discussed with the child's healthcare provider.

Early stage neuroblastoma may not produce enough HVA to result in elevated levels in the urine. This test is often used in conjunction with other diagnostic tests for a more comprehensive evaluation.

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