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Test ID CATP Catecholamine Fractionation, Free, Plasma

Useful For

Diagnosis of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, as an auxiliary test to fractionated plasma and urine metanephrine measurements (plasma metanephrine is the preferred test for this diagnosis)


Diagnosis and follow-up of patients with neuroblastoma and related tumors, as an auxiliary test to urine vanillylmandelic acid and homovanillic acid measurements


Evaluation of patients with autonomic dysfunction or failure or autonomic neuropathy

Method Name

High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

Includes unconjugated norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine

Reporting Name

Catecholamine Fract, Free, P

Specimen Type

Plasma EDTA Meta

Ordering Guidance

Unless the purpose of the measurement is drug monitoring, discontinue any epinephrine, norepinephrine, or dopamine injections or infusions for at least 12 hours before specimen draw.


Do not perform the test on patients withdrawing from legal or illegal drugs known to cause rebound plasma catecholamine release during withdrawal (see Cautions for details)

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation: Discontinue drugs that release epinephrine, norepinephrine, or dopamine, or hinder their metabolism for at least 1 week before obtaining the specimen (see Cautions for details). If this is not possible for medical reasons, contact the laboratory and discuss whether a shorter drug withdrawal period may be possible in a particular case.


The patient must refrain from eating, using tobacco, and drinking caffeinated beverages for at least 4 hours before the specimen is drawn.


Supplies: Catecholamine tubes containing EDTA-sodium metabisulfite solution (T066) (tubes have a 6-month expiration time)


Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 3 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Drawing from a catheter is required.

2. Calm the patient by giving complete instructions and reassurance regarding the procedure.

3. Insert an indwelling intravenous catheter. Flush with 3 mL of NaCl, using positive pressure.

4. Have the patient rest for 30 minutes in the supine position in a quiet room.

5. At the end of the 30 minutes, withdraw and discard a minimum of 3 mL of blood to remove the saline out of the catheter.

6. If provocative sampling (eg, standing specimen) is required, perform provocative maneuver immediately after obtaining supine specimen. Obtain standing specimen immediately.

7. For each specimen, draw 10 mL of blood into the chilled EDTA-sodium metabisulfite 10-mL tube.

8. Specimens must remain at refrigerated temperature during processing and transport.

9. Separate plasma in a refrigerated centrifuge within 30 minutes of draw.

10. Freeze specimen immediately.

Specimen Minimum Volume

2 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Plasma EDTA Meta Frozen 7 days

Reference Values


Supine: 70-750 pg/mL

Standing: 200-1,700 pg/mL



Supine: ≤111 pg/mL

Standing: ≤141 pg/mL



<30 pg/mL (no postural change)


For SI unit Reference Values, see

Day(s) Performed

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Performing Laboratory

Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
CATP Catecholamine Fract, Free, P 34551-2


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
2846 Norepinephrine 2666-6
2901 Epinephrine 2230-1
2906 Dopamine 2216-0

Test Classification

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Report Available

2 to 5 days

NY State Approved