Validity of urinary monoamine assay sales under the "spot baseline urinary neurotransmitter testing marketing model"

Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis. 2011;4:101-13. doi: 10.2147/IJNRD.S22783. Epub 2011 Jul 20.


Spot baseline urinary monoamine assays have been used in medicine for over 50 years as a screening test for monoamine-secreting tumors, such as pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome. In these disease states, when the result of a spot baseline monoamine assay is above the specific value set by the laboratory, it is an indication to obtain a 24-hour urine sample to make a definitive diagnosis. There are no defined applications where spot baseline urinary monoamine assays can be used to diagnose disease or other states directly. No peer-reviewed published original research exists which demonstrates that these assays are valid in the treatment of individual patients in the clinical setting. Since 2001, urinary monoamine assay sales have been promoted for numerous applications under the "spot baseline urinary neurotransmitter testing marketing model". There is no published peer-reviewed original research that defines the scientific foundation upon which the claims for these assays are made. On the contrary, several articles have been published that discredit various aspects of the model. To fill the void, this manuscript is a comprehensive review of the scientific foundation and claims put forth by laboratories selling urinary monoamine assays under the spot baseline urinary neurotransmitter testing marketing model.

Keywords: dopamine; epinephrine; monoamine; norepinephrine; serotonin; urinary; urine.