Catecholamines Fractionation (Adrenaline, Noradrenaline & Dopamine)


Adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine, are continuously produced and released in the body, and play important roles in homeostasis and other functions. Adrenaline is produced by the adrenal medulla and by other chromaffin cells distributed in almost every organ, while noradrenaline is mainly produced by the adrenergic neurones and to a minor extent by the adrenal medulla. Dopamine is produced in the adrenal medulla, the heart, and the carotid body, apparently in specific DA cells. Daytime adrenaline levels are normally 3-5 fold higher than at night. Normally, adrenaline levels are increased during mental stress, examinations, pain, noise, apprehension provoking situations, exciting films, strenuous work, etc.


Increased noradrenaline is associated with homeostatic mechanisms involving blood pressure and during muscular exercise. In many pathological and pathophysiological conditions there is a less clear differentiation between adrenaline and noradrenaline production and excretion. Catecholamines are increased in hypothalamic centres activation (asphyxia and by toxins), trauma, extensive surgery and burns. Increased noradrenaline secretion is sometimes associated with hypertension, noradrenaline secreting neuroendocrine tumours (phaeochromocytoma, neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroma). Electroshock and pneumoencephalon are often associated with increased catecholamines output. Adrenergic blockers, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, some drugs and toxins cause increased catecholamines output. The most common condition associated with decreased noradrenaline level is postural hypotension. In addition, decreased secretion of noradrenaline can be due to drugs affecting the synthesis, storage, and release of adrenergic neurotransmitters.

Sample Type, Quantity & Conditions

2 ml EDTA Plasma Frozen

Special Precautions

Normal Range

By Report

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