Diagnosis Endocrinology


Standard tests available to diagnose pheochromocytoma include:

  • 24-Hour Urinary Catecholamines and Metanephrines Test This measures the production of the different types of hormonal compounds made by the adrenal glands. Since the body excretes these hormones in the urine, a patient's urine is examined after 24 hours to check for increased levels of the hormones. This test measures different types of adrenaline, including epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine, as well as the compounds discarded by the liver and kidney.
  • Serum Catecholamines This study measures the adrenalin compounds in the blood and can detect elevated adrenalin levels
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scans and I-MIBG Scans These scans help locate the tumor. If a pheochromocytoma is suspected, the CT scan should be without contrast unless hypertension is controlled.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.