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Clin Chem. 1979 Feb;25(2):256-63.

Analysis for urinary catecholamines by liquid chromatography with amperometric detection: methodology and clinical interpretation of results.


A method is presented for the quantitative analysis of urinary unconjugated norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine as discrete entities. The procedure requires initial purification of the specimen on aluminum oxide and a boric acid-gel. We used "high-performance" reversed-phase paired-ion chromatography, with a flow-through amperometric cell as the detector. The CV was 6% for determination of norepinephrine, 11% for epinephrine, and 6% for dopamine monitored at physiologic concentrations of these compounds in urine. In a population study, urine specimens from 117 normal pediatric and adult subjects, 85 hypertensive patients, and 22 patients with surgically proved pheochromocytoma were analyzed. The specificity of the method for detection of pheochromocytoma was 100%, with a sensitivity of 97%.

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