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Homovanillic Acid (HVA), urine

Alternate test name

Lab area
Clinical Biochemistry - Special
Method and equipment
Expected turn-around time
7 days
Specimen type

20 mL Urine

Specimen requirements
  • Collect in container with acid preservative
  • Random collection use sterile screw top container
  • 24h collection preferred. Preservative: 6N HCl.  For 24h collection:
<1yr  -  2 mL 6N HCl
1-5yrs  -  5 mL 6N HCl
>5yrs  -  10 mL 6N HCl
  • Also acceptable, but less reliable: random (spot) sample (20 mL min) in a screw top urine container with 0.5 mL 6N HCl as preservative.
Storage and transportation


Background and clinical significance

Homovanillic acid has been identified as the principal urinary metabolite of dopa and dopamine. HVA supports the diagnosis of neuroblastoma and malignant pheochromocytoma.

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