All content on Lab Tests Online has been reviewed and approved by our Editorial Review Board.
At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
To help diagnose or rule out a rare adrenal tumor called a pheochromocytoma or a rare extra-adrenal tumor called a paraganglioma; these tumors produce excess hormones called catecholamines, which are broken down to metanephrines.
When to Get Tested?
When you have symptoms of increased catecholamines release such as sudden bursts (paroxysms) of high blood pressure (hypertension), severe headaches, rapid heart rate (palpitations), sweating, and tremors; when hypertension does not respond to standard treatment; when the signs and symptoms occur in a relatively young person (younger than age 40) and when there is a family history of hypertension; when a health practitioner suspects you may have a tumor that is releasing or may release excess catecholamines
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm
Test Preparation Needed?
Blood for plasma metanephrine testing is collected by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm. Although you may be seated for the collection, it is recommended that you be lying down. The healthcare provider or the collection site will instruct you as to their specific requirements.
These tests are affected by certain drugs, foods, and stresses. Inform your healthcare provider of any medications you are taking and follow any preparation instructions you are given before sample collection.