1. Why do I have to collect my urine for 24 hours?
The reason that you need to collect your urine over a 24-hour period is because the amount of VMA excreted in the urine changes during the course of a day. By collecting all urine for 24 hours, the amount of VMA measured can be averaged over the entire day and will give a better indication of whether levels are increased or not.
No, this test requires specialized equipment and must be performed in a laboratory. Not every laboratory will perform this assay; in some cases, your sample will need to be sent to a reference laboratory.
3. Will my results be accurate if I must continue to take my medication?
If the drug is one that can increase or decrease the amount of VMA, then your results may be affected. However, it is up to your doctor and you to decide whether or not your medication can be safely stopped prior to and during the test collection. If your drugs must be taken, then your doctor will interpret the test results with this in mind.
4. Are some people at a higher risk for developing a pheochromocytoma or neuroblastoma?
People with a family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN2), a genetic condition that increases a person's risk of developing tumors in the endocrine system glands, may be at higher risk for developing a pheochromocytoma, having more than one, and developing it at a younger age. Most cases of neuroblastomas are considered "sporadic," but about 1% to 2% of cases may be due to inherited factors. Those with a strong family history may have an increased risk.
This article was last reviewed on June 24, 2013. | This article was last modified on June 24, 2013.
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