Catecholamine metabolite excretion in spina bifida

J Clin Pathol. 1969 Nov;22(6):687-9. doi: 10.1136/jcp.22.6.687.


The urinary excretion of vanilmandelic acid (VMA), homovanillic acid (HVA), and parahydroxyphenylacetic acid (pHPAA) was measured in 55 children with meningomyelocoele selected at random. In 96% of the children the levels of one or other of these compounds was significantly raised above the normal, usually by a factor of about 3. High VMA levels usually meant high HVA levels but the values for pHPAA appeared to be quite independent of the others. These results suggest a disorder of tyrosine metabolism, and the possible implications are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Catecholamines / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Humans
  • Mandelic Acids / urine
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / urine
  • Phenylacetates / urine
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Spinal Dysraphism / urine*
  • Tyrosine / metabolism
  • Vanilmandelic Acid / urine


  • Catecholamines
  • Mandelic Acids
  • Phenylacetates
  • Tyrosine
  • Vanilmandelic Acid
  • Creatinine