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Laboratory investigation of catecholamine metabolites in childhood tumours of the sympathetic nervous system

Bird, Peter Joseph; (1993) Laboratory investigation of catecholamine metabolites in childhood tumours of the sympathetic nervous system. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumour of childhood. The two key determinants of survival in neuroblastoma have been the age of the patient and the stage of disease. Urinary catecholamine metabolites have been used in the diagnosis of neuroblastoma An HPLC method using electrochemical detection was developed for urinary acidic catecholamine metabolites. The method was accurate compared with the reference method, GC-MS. Since our quality control results compared well with other HPLC methods, it can be reliably used for the diagnosis of neuroblastoma in children. The collection of urine has been simplified. Random urine samples can reliably be used instead of a 24 hr urine sample. The reference intervals for urinary acidic catecholamine metabolite, HMMA and HVA in children have been defined. These limits differed from other published data. However, if hospitalised patients are used, the upper limits compared very well with recently published data (Henderson et al, 1992). I have also reported the upper limits for the dopamine metabolite DOPAC, for which there is very little information available. From biochemical and clinical comparisons, it was found that neither the stage of neuroblastoma or the age of the patient had any affect on the urinary excretion of acidic catecholamine metabolites Also the survival of neuroblastoma patients was not related to the urinary excretion of acidic catecholamine metabolites. A statistically significant correlation (p<0.001) was found between the urinary excretion of HMMA, HVA and the weight of the tumour in neuroblastoma patients. Two patients in the study would not have been detected biochemically, because they had very small tumours. Because there was no correlation (p = 1.0) between the primary site of the tumour and urinary excretion, the location of the tumour could not be identified on the magnitude of urinary HMMA and HVA.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Laboratory investigation of catecholamine metabolites in childhood tumours of the sympathetic nervous system
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Health and environmental sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103997
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