Metanephrines blood test
Tests & Procedures

Metanephrines Blood Test – Purpose, Preparation, Procedure, Results, Cost

What Is Metanephrines Test For?

Metanephrine Blood Test is a simple blood test used to measure the level of certain hormones in your blood, mainly, metanephrines. This test is important in diagnosing any existence of a rare tumor in the blood. The tumor, known as Pheochromocytoma responsible for releasing excess metanephrines in the blood. The metanephrines test is also used to monitor the recurrence of a tumor after it has already been removed or treated. These tumors, however, may not be dangerous but if they produce excess hormones, it can result in severe effects.

Some of the elevated metanephrines symptoms include severe headaches, weight loss, hypertension, and sweating, rapid heartbeat, tingling in the feet and hands, and anxiety. If the condition is not effectively treated, it can cause heart disease, heart attack, and kidney damage. Your doctor may ask to perform the metanephrine test in case he suspects that you might have an adrenal gland tumor.

Metanephrines Blood Test Preparation

Before the metanephrines blood test, your doctor may recommend against the consumption of certain products since they can affect the blood test results. For instance, the results may be affected by stress, alcohol, and certain medication. Below are tips on how to prepare for a metanephrines blood test;

  • Avoid vigorous exercises
  • Avoid certain medication such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. They contain levodopa, nitroglycerin, acetaminophens, and lithium. You should not take these products for two days before the test. It’s important also, to consult with your doctor before discontinuing your medication.
  • Avoid stress and don’t starve yourself
  • Quietly rest for about 20 minutes before the blood sample is collected
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks and beverages
  • Make sure your doctor fully understands your health condition including all the medicines, herbs, and supplements that you may be using.

Metanephrines Blood Test Procedure

The metanephrines blood test is performed with a blood sample. At first, the test procedure is explained to you by your doctor. A plastic needle cannula is then used to draw the test blood from a vein in the hand or arm. This allows for the blood samples to be collected without the use of repeated needle sticks.

How Long Does Metanephrines Test Results Take?

In most cases, doctors recommend the use of two tests, the blood test and the urine metanephrines test. This is because some products in the blood sample can lead to elevated levels of metanephrines. Since they are quickly eliminated in the body, a blood test can give false results. Therefore, a metanephrines 24-hour urine test is necessary alongside a blood test. Commonly, the turnaround time for this test is approximately 5-7 days.

Metanephrines Blood Test Results and Interpretation

Generally, metanephrines blood test results can vary depending on a number of factors such as age, health history, the effectiveness of the test, gender, and other things. However, your test results do not always mean that you have a health complication, in some cases, false results happen. Usually, results are measured in picograms per milliliter. Normal metanephrines levels are

  • Metanephrines; 20-60 picograms per milliliter
  • Normetanephrine; 18- 111 picograms per milliliter

Normal ranges of metanephrines may vary depending on the type of hospital and laboratory the test was performed. Therefore, it’s important to request for interpretation of the results from your doctor and find out if the values are within the normal limits, low metanephrines levels, or high metanephrine levels. Usually, normal levels mean that it’s unlikely that the patient does not have a tumor. Also, these tumors are very rare.

Elevated levels of metanephrines can mean that you have a tumor. Also, they may be caused by an obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, high levels of metanephrines in an individual who has been previously treated for a tumor may mean that the treatment was not effective or the tumor is recurring, and you need appropriate medication. In case of the presence of a tumor, extra MRI test is done to locate the apparent tumor.

It’s important to discuss your test results with the doctor. This way, you will understand more about the importance, the meaning of the results, an additional test, and the treatment options necessary for the condition.

Cost Approximately

At average, the 24-hour urine metanephrines test cost is approximately Rs. 1300 – 4850. This will, however, depend on factors such as the quality, city, and availability of the test. For a metanephrines blood test, the cost is approximately $100.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad