During the last 3 years, random urine samples from 408 patients were tested for elevated homovanillic acid (HVA) and vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) levels to rule out the diagnosis of neuroblastoma. Thirty-seven of these patients had elevated HVA and/or VMA levels, and neuroblastoma was subsequently diagnosed. In three additional patients with negative test results (normal HVA and VMA levels), tumors were subsequently diagnosed (false-negative rate of 7.5%). Ten percent of the patients with neuroblastoma had normal HVA and 27.5% had normal VMA levels at the time of diagnosis. Only one patient (2.5%) with neuroblastoma had elevated VMA levels in the presence of normal HVA levels. More than 60% of the patients with neuroblastoma had urinary HVA and/or VMA levels higher than twice the upper limit of normal. No false-positive results were encountered. Age and stage distributions of the patients are shown, and the significance of the results is discussed.
- Received January 17, 1986.
- Accepted April 28, 1986.
- Copyright © 1987 by the American Academy of Pediatrics