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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Circulating and urinary catecholamines in pheochromocytoma. Diagnostic and pathophysiologic implications.

Three biochemical tests for the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma were evaluated in 24 patients with proved tumors and 40 patients whose clinical picture was suspect but who had no evidence of the disease. Measurement of resting, supine plasma catecholamines (by radioenzymatic assay) was more useful than either 24-hour urinary vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) or metanephrines or both. In only one of 23 patients with pheochromocytoma were plasma catecholamines within the range of those in patients without pheochromocytoma, as compared with urinary VMA in 11 of 22, urinary metanephrines in five of 22 and both metabolites in three of 22. These studies reaffirm the value of plasma catecholamines in the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma and indicate that urinary catecholamine metabolites are less useful. The poor correlation between the height of arterial pressure and circulating levels of catecholamines suggests that the regulation of arterial pressure in pheochromocytoma is complex.[1]


  1. Circulating and urinary catecholamines in pheochromocytoma. Diagnostic and pathophysiologic implications. Bravo, E.L., Tarazi, R.C., Gifford, R.W., Stewart, B.H. N. Engl. J. Med. (1979) [Pubmed]
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