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Beaumont Laboratory


Fish Odor Syndrome, Trimethylaminuria Test, VolatileAmines, Order as a Miscellaneous Sendout.


Trimethylamine is a highly volatile compound and will be lost from the specimen during shipment if instructions are not followed. Contact the Sendout Laboratory at 248-551-9045 with any questions.

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: 20 mL random urine in a sterile collection container. (Min: 1.0 mL)

Transport specimen to the Laboratory immediately after collection for processing. 

Physician Office/Drawsite Specimen Preparation

Specimen must be frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below) immediately after collection and maintained frozen prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: 20 mL urine, frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below). (Min: 1.0 mL)

Rejection Criteria

  • Specimens not collected and processed as indicated.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): Unacceptable
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 4 hours
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Indefinite

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Specimen retention time is determined by the policy of the reference laboratory. Contact the Sendout Laboratory with any questions.


Sent to Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver, CA.


Results available within 21 days.

Reference Range

By report.

Test Methodology

Stable Isotope Dilution-Tandem Mass Spectrometry.

Clinical Utility

This assay aids in the diagnosis of trimethylaminuria. Trimethylaminuria is presumably a genetic defect in the enzymatic conversion of trimethylamine (odor of stale fish) to trimethylamine-N-oxide (non-odiferous). It causes body odor severe enough to create serious psychosocial problems.  Diagnosis is made by detection of excess trimethylamine in urine. Available therapies include dietary restriction of choline (precursor of TMA) and also dietary restriction of foods containing inhibitors of TMA.

CPT Code

83789, 82570.

Test Codes

Order as a Miscellaneous Sendout.

Last Updated


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This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.