Homovanillic Acid (HVA), Urine

HVA, Urine Homovanillic Acid , Homovanillic Acid, Urine , ARUP #80422, EPIC: LAB7061, SOFT: XHVA


Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect (preferred specimen): 24 hour urine with no preservatives.
Also acceptable: Random urine specimen in a screw-capped container (preferred) or other sterile collection cup. (Min: 1.0 mL)

  • Keep 24 hour urine specimen iced or refrigerated during collection.
  • Include start and end dates and times for the collection period on the specimen container.
  • The specimen must be transported to the Laboratory immediately after the end of the collection interval.
Urine Preservative Options
No Preservative
6N Hydrochloric Acid
Boric Acid (10g)
Sodium Carbonate
50% Acetic Acid

Physician Office/Drawsite Specimen Preparation

Maintain specimens refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F) prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Entire 24 hour urine collection or random urine, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).

Rejection Criteria

  • Samples not kept refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).
  • Specimens not collected and processed as indicated.


Tuesday - Saturday.
Results available in 3-6 days.

Reference Range

By report.

Test Methodology

Quantitative High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) - Tandem Mass Spectrometry.


HVA is the primary metabolite of dopamine and elevations reflect increased dopamine levels due to either a tumor or drug therapy. Levels can be extremely elevated in urines from patients receiving dopamine, L-dopa, disulfiram and reserpine.

Clinical Utility

This assay is helpful in the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma, or ganglio-blastoma and to monitor the patient's response to therapy. If neuroblastoma is suspected, it is best to determine Vanillylmandelic Acid (VMA), Urine levels since either dopamine or norepinephrine could be increased.

CPT Code


Test Codes

ARUP #80422, EPIC: LAB7061, SOFT: XHVA

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