European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 146, Issue 5, pp 489–493 | Cite as

The value of determination of homovanillic and vanillylmandelic acids in plasma for the diagnosis and follow-up of neuroblastoma in children

  • M. Gahr
  • D. H. Hunneman
Original Investigations


The plasma levels of homovanillic and vanillylmandelic acids were determined in 84 children with neuroblastoma prior to treatment to evaluate the usefulness of these parameters for the diagnosis of this disease. Elevated levels of one or both of these metabolites were observed in 50% of children with Stage I or II disease, in 88% of those with Stage III, in 93% of those with Stage IV and in 100% of children with Stage IV-S for a total of 88% of all patients. The clinical course of the disease can be followed readily by determination of these metabolites, successful therapy or surgery being accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the plasma levels and relapse by a corresponding increase. Determination of homovanillic and vanillylmandelic acids in plasma can obviate many of the problems associated with the collection of urine, especially in young children or ambulant patients, and thus facilitates a more frequent control with consequent advantages for the management of this disease.

Key words

Neuroblastoma Catecholamine metabolites Homovanillic acid Vanillylmandelic acid 



Homovanillic acid


Vanillylmandelic acid


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Gahr
    • 1
  • D. H. Hunneman
    • 2
  1. 1.Universitäts-KinderklinikGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Zentrum für Physiologie und Pathophysiologie der UniversitätGöttingenGermany

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