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Catecholamine excretion by the healthy adult human


During the past few years much progress has been made concerning the development of accurate chemical methods for the determination of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and hydroxy-methoxy mandelic acid in urine and blood plasma. The problem of establishing standard values for the healthy average adult human of both sexes has thus become more urgent. We determined creatinine, adrenaline and noradrenaline (trihydroxyindole method) as well as hydroxy-methoxy mandelic acid (HMMA) in 16 men and 11 women. The daily excretion of creatinine remained to within 5% in 12 of the 27 subjects but varied by more than 5% to over 20% in the remaining 15 subjects. The mean values of the 24 hr urinary catecholamine excretion were: for men: noradrenaline = 24.3±6.9 μg, adrenaline = 7.1±2.9 μg, the NA/A ratio = 4.1±2.3, HMMA=6.9±2.1 mg; for women: noradrenaline = 23.1±7.1 μg, adrenaline = 5.6±2.4 μg, ratio = 5.1±3.6, HMMA=6.2±2.5 mg. A study of the diurnal variation showed that adrenaline and noradrenaline excretion was highest during the period from 7–15 hr, decreased from 15–23 hr by 20% for noradrenaline and by 30% for adrenaline, and further decreased during the time from 23–7 hr by 45% for noradrenaline and 75% for adrenaline; the excretion of HMMA was the same during the two day-time periods and was 35% lower during the night. The resting plasma levels were: for men: noradrenaline = 0.12 μg/l and adrenaline = 0.23 μg/l; for women: noradrenaline = 0.11 μg/l and adrenaline =0.21 μg/l. The values reported here agreed well with data obtained by Kärki (1956) from bioassay and were of the same order of magnitude as those collected by Brunjes (1964) using a different version of the trihydroxyidole method. The discrepancies with some other studies were critically reviewed.

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Becker, E.J., Kreuzer, F. Catecholamine excretion by the healthy adult human. Pflugers Arch. 316, 95–113 (1970).

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  • Catecholamines
  • Catecholamine Metabolites
  • Catecholamine Excretion


  • Katecholamine
  • Katecholaminmetabolite
  • Katecholaminausscheidung