Dietary flavonols contribute to false-positive elevation of homovanillic acid, a marker of catecholamine-secreting tumours

Combet, E. , Lean, M.E.J. , Boyle, J., Crozier, A. and Davidson, D.F. (2011) Dietary flavonols contribute to false-positive elevation of homovanillic acid, a marker of catecholamine-secreting tumours. Clinica Chimica Acta, 412(1-2), pp. 165-169. (doi:10.1016/j.cca.2010.09.037)

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Abstract

Background: Urinary homovanillic acid (HVA) measurement is used routinely as a marker of the first test for the screening of catecholamine-secreting tumors and dopamine metabolism, but generates a large number of false-positive results. With no guidelines for dietary restrictions prior to the test, we hypothesize that consumption of flavonol-rich foods (such as onions, tomatoes, tea) prior to urinary catecholamine screening could be responsible for false-positive urinary HVA in healthy subjects. Methods: A randomized, crossover dietary intervention was carried out in healthy subjects (n = 17). Volunteers followed either a low or high-flavonol diet, for a duration of 3 days, prior to providing a 24-h urine sample for HVA measurement using a routine, validated liquid chromatography method as well as a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. Results: Dietary flavonol intake significantly increased urinary HVA excretion (p < 0.001), with 3 out of 17 volunteers (20%) exceeding the 40 μmol/24 h upper limit of normal for HVA excretion (false-positive result). Conclusion: Dietary flavonols commonly found in foodstuff such as tomatoes, onions, and tea, interfered with the routine urinary HVA screening test and should be avoided in the three-day run-up to the test.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Homovanillic acid, HVA, mass spectrometry, phaeochromocytoma, catecholamine, flavonols, diet, interference, false-positives
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyle, Dr James and Crozier, Professor Alan and Lean, Professor Michael and Combet Aspray, Dr Emilie
Authors: Combet, E., Lean, M.E.J., Boyle, J., Crozier, A., and Davidson, D.F.
Subjects:R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Clinica Chimica Acta
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0009-8981
ISSN (Online):1873-3492
Published Online:08 October 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Clinica Chimica Acta 412(1-2):165-169
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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