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Alternative namesThis is a test that measures the amount of 5-HIAA in urine.
How the test is performedThe health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may interfere with the test. A 24-hour urine sample is needed:
For a infant, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on your infant. For boys, the entire penis can be placed in the bag and the adhesive attached to the skin. For girls, the bag is placed over the labia. Place a diaper over the infant (bag and all). The infant should be checked frequently and the bag changed after the infant has urinated into the bag. For active infants, this procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag, causing an inability to obtain the specimen. The urine is drained into the container for transport to the laboratory.
How to prepare for the test
The health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may interfere with the test. Refrain from eating foods that contain interfering substances for 3 days before the test. (see Special Considerations.)
How the test will feelThe test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Why the test is performedThis test is performed to evaluate the amount of 5-HIAA excreted by the body.
Serotonin is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan by hormone-producing enterochromaffin cells in the gut and bronchi (airways of the lung). Serotonin increases dilation of blood vessels and platelet aggregation (clumping of platelets ). It is metabolized in the liver to 5-HIAA and eventually ends up in the urine.
Normal ValuesThe normal range is 3 to 15 mg/24 hr (milligrams per 24 hours)
What abnormal results mean5-HIAA levels are usually measured to detect carcinoid tumors and follow the clinical course of patients, and to diagnose certain medical conditions such as systemic mastocytosis and endocrine tumors.
What the risks areThere are no risks.
Special considerationsDrugs that can increase 5-HIAA measurements include acetanilid, phenacetin, glyceryl guaiacolate (found in many cough syrups), methocarbamol, and reserpine.
Drugs that can decrease 5-HIAA measurements include chlorpromazine, heparin, imipramine, isoniazid, levodopa, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, methenamine, methyldopa, phenothiazines, promethazine, and tricyclic antidepressants.
Foods that can interfere with 5-HIAA measurements include plums, pineapples, bananas, eggplant, tomatoes, avocados, and walnuts. Do not eat them for 3 days before the test.
Update Date: 9/14/2003Corey Cutler, M.D., M.P.H., F.R.C.P.C., Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Instructor in Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT