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Med Pediatr Oncol. 1992;20(3):215-20.

Methylated catecholamine metabolites for diagnosis of neuroblastoma.

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Laboratoire de Biochimie, Hôpital Pasteur, Nice, France.


Assays of urinary catecholamines and their metabolites (HVA, VMA, dopamine) permit biochemical diagnosis of neuroblastoma in approximately 80% of patients. The urinary methylated catecholamine metabolites normetanephrine (NMN), metanephrine (MN), and 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT) were analyzed in 18 patients with neuroblastoma and compared with reference values established for 69 healthy pediatric controls. All 18 neuroblastoma patients had raised urinary excretion of at least one of the three commonly assayed metabolites (HVA, VMA, dopamine). Similarly, raised urinary excretion of a methylated metabolite was noted in all but one of the neuroblastoma patients. The 3-MT level was pathologic in 16 of the 18 patients (89%). In this series, 3-MT assay sensitivity was sufficient to warrant trials on a larger population including comparison with patients considered nonsecretors by routine assay procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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