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Vanillylmandelic Acid (VMA), Random Urine

Test ID: 


CPT code:



3-Methoxy-4-Hydroxymandelic Acid

VMA, Random Urine

Clinical Use:

Pediatric testing for the evaluation of hypertension; diagnose and follow up neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroma, and ganglioneuroblastoma. Most neuroblastoma patients excrete excess HVA in 24-hour collections. If VMA and HVA are both used in work-up, up to 80% of all cases will be detected.

Test Information:

Some neuroblastoma patients are positive for urinary homovanillic acid abnormality but do not excrete increased VMA. Twenty percent to 32% of patients with neuroblastoma do not have elevation of VMA. Many will have other laboratory abnormalities such as increased metanephrines, homovanillic acid (HVA), or dopamine.

Specimen Type:


Requested Volume: 

10 mL aliquot

Minimum Volume: 

1 mL aliquot

Container Type: 

Plastic urine container

Patient Preparation:

Patient should avoid salicylates, caffeine, phenothiazine, and antihypertension agents. Also coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit (especially bananas and any vanilla-containing substances for 72 hours prior to collection).


If specimen is to be stored for longer than seven days before analysis, use random urine transport tube.

Storage Instructions:

Vanillylmandelic acid is stable at room temperature (15°C to 30°C) unpreserved for seven days.

Stability Requirements:



Room temperature

7 days


14 days


14 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3


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