Catecholamines Fractionated (Epinephrine, Norepinephrine), Plasma
Ordering Recommendation

Not recommended for evaluation of pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma. Use to evaluate clinical symptoms of excess catecholamine secretion. For the assessment of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, refer to Metanephrines, Plasma (Free) (0050184) or Metanephrines Fractionated by HPLC-MS/MS, Urine (2007996).‚Äč

Quantitative High Performance Liquid Chromatography
Sun, Tue-Sat
1-4 days
New York DOH Approval Status
This test is New York DOH approved.
Submit With Order
ARUP Consult®
Disease Topics
Specimen Required
Patient Preparation
Patient should be calm and supine for 30 minutes prior to collection. 
Green (sodium or lithium heparin). Collect on ice. 
Specimen Preparation
Specimen should be centrifuged and frozen within one hour (refrigerated centrifuge is preferred but not required). Transfer 4 mL plasma to an ARUP Standard Transport Tube. (Min: 2.1 mL) 
Storage/Transport Temperature
CRITICAL FROZEN. Separate specimens must be submitted when multiple tests are ordered. 
Unacceptable Conditions
EDTA plasma, serum, or urine. 
After separation from cells: Ambient: Unacceptable; Refrigerated: Unacceptable; Frozenat -20°C: 1 month; Frozen at -70°C: 1 year 
Reference Interval
Test Number
Reference Interval

2-10 days
11 days-3 months
4-11 months
12-23 months
24-35 months
3-17 years
18 years and older
36-400 pg/mL
55-200 pg/mL
55-440 pg/mL
36-640 pg/mL
18-440 pg/mL
18-460 pg/mL
10-200 pg/mL


2-10 days
11 days-3 months
4-11 months
12-23 months
24-35 months
3-17 years
18 years and older
170-1180 pg/mL
370-2080 pg/mL
270-1120 pg/mL
68-1810 pg/mL
170-1470 pg/mL
85-1250 pg/mL
80-520 pg/mL

Interpretive Data
Small increases in catecholamines (less than 2 times the upper reference limit) usually are the result of physiological stimuli, drugs, or improper specimen collection. Significant elevation of one or more catecholamines (2 or more times the upper reference limit) is associated with an increased
probability of a neuroendocrine tumor. Measurement of plasma or urine fractionated metanephrines provides better diagnostic sensitivity than measurement of catecholamines.

Higher catecholamine concentrations are observed in specimens collected from upright or standing adults. Epinephrine may be increased by approximately 20 percent and norepinephrine increased up to 700 pg/mL.

Statement B: Compliance Statement B: For laboratory developed tests not using a RUO kit, and for FDA approved, cleared or 510(k) exempt assays with alterations. This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by ARUP Laboratories. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved or cleared this test; however, FDA clearance or approval is not currently required for clinical use. The results are not intended to be used as the sole means for clinical diagnosis or patient management decisions.

Medications that may interfere with catecholamines and metabolites include amphetamines and amphetamine-like compounds, appetite suppressants, bromocriptine, buspirone, caffeine, carbidopa-levodopa (Sinemet), clonidine, dexamethasone, diuretics (in doses sufficient to deplete sodium), ethanol, isoproterenol, labetalol, methyldopa (Aldomet), MAO inhibitors, nicotine, nose drops, propafenone (Rythmol), reserpine, theophylline, tricyclic antidepressants, and vasodilators. The effect of drugs on catecholamine results may not be predictable.

For optimum results, patient should be supine for 30 minutes prior to collection.

Children, particularly those under 2 years of age, often show an elevated catecholamine response to stress.
Hotline History
Component Test Code*Component Chart NameLOINC
0080960Catecholamine Interpretation
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please view this test within the Laboratory Test Directory found at
  • Adrenalin
  • Dopamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Noradrenaline
  • Norepinephrine