Vanillylmandelic Acid Test In Jalandhar

Vanillylmandelic Acid Test In Jalandhar

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The vanillylmandelic acid test or VMA urine test is often prescribed by doctors when the person shows signs associated with neuroblastoma or other tumors related to the neural crest. The test checks the amount or levels of vanillylmandelic acid in the urine sample as this acid is a metabolite of catecholamines. This test is prescribed when the doctors want to know the reason behind the elevated amounts of catecholamines by-products, when neuroblastoma is not confirmed. The vanillylmandelic acid is often prescribed along with the homovanillic acid test or HVA test. Read further to know more about the VMA test in Jalandhar, including its price.

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About Vanillylmandelic Acid Test

Why is the Vanillylmandelic Acid test done?

The vanillylmandelic acid test is prescribed to test for tumors, like neuroblastoma. Apart from diagnosis, this test is also used to monitor the progress of the treatment.

Neuroblastoma is a tumor that primarily affects the adrenal glands. The tumor or cancer develops from immature nerve cells and can be found anywhere in the body. But, the adrenal glands found atop the kidneys are more similar to the nerve cells that are susceptible to developing this type of cancer. The symptoms associated with neuroblastoma are:

  • Lumps or painless swelling in the abdomen
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty when swallowing or breathing
  • Feeling full, even when not eaten anything
  • Aching bones
  • The appearance of bruises around the eyes

Other diseases that are diagnosed or monitored with the help of vanillylmandelic acid are:

  • Hypertension
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Ganglioneuroma
  • Ganglioneuroblastoma
What does the Vanillylmandelic Acid test measure?

The vanillylmandelic acid test checks for elevated amounts of vanillylmandelic acid, which is one of the by-products of catecholamines. When a body undergoes stress, the adrenal glands release catecholamines to counter it. The adrenaline rush that people often feel is due to these hormones. When the stress reduces, the catecholamines get metabolized to become vanillylmandelic acid (norepinephrine and epinephrine) and homovanillic acid (dopamine and dihydroxyphenylalanine or DOPA).

The presence of vanillylmandelic acid in traces in the urine is normal. But, high levels of vanillylmandelic acid, even without stress, can indicate the presence of neuroblastoma or similar catecolamine inducing tumors. The specificity of the test also relies on the type of tumor that is to be detected. Since the pathway for conversion can be affected at any stage, not all tumors related to the adrenal glands are tested using the VMA test.

Potential risks/side effects associated with the Vanillylmandelic Acid test

The test is done by analyzing the collected urine samples. The proper collection of the sample is essential for getting accurate results. The lab technician who will obtain the sample will tell the correct procedure for the said sample. The sample collection for the test would require a collection of urine over a period of 24 hours for accurate results. There are no risks or side effects associated with the VMA test.


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What foods and/or medications can increase the catecholamines or vanillylmandelic acid levels?

The following foods are considered to cause an increase in the level of vanillylmandelic acid:

  • Bananas
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Citrus fruits

In terms of medications, the following increases the levels:

  • Histamine
  • Caffeine
  • Levodopa
  • Lithium
  • Insulin
  • Epinephrine
  • Methocarbamol
What foods/medications can decrease the levels of vanillylmandelic acid or catecholamines?

While there are no known foods or beverages that can cause a decrease in the amount of the metabolite, the following medications are considered to reduce the levels:

  • Salicylates
  • Clonidine
  • MAO inhibitors
  • Guanethidine
  • Reserpine
What are nerve crests?

Nerve crest or neural crest cells are a group of cells that arise from the ectoderm germ layer in the embryonic stage. These cells are temporary and unique to vertebrates. Once the spinal cord is formed, the neural crest is reduced and fades away.

Interpreting the Vanillylmandelic Acid test results

Interpreting the Vanillylmandelic Acid test results

The presence of vanillylmandelic acid in the urine can be expected even in a healthy person. The sample collected over the period of 24 hours is checked against the deemed normal range for the vanillylmandelic acid. The table below shows the normal ranges:

Age Group Normal Range
Adults Less than 6.8 mg/24 hr
Adolescents Within 1 to 5 mg/24 hr
Infants  Less than 2 mg/24 hr
Newborns < 1 mg/24 hr

The elevated or decreased levels of vanillylmandelic acid in the system can be due to medication or certain food and beverages. When getting tested, the same should be informed to the doctors and the technicians.

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