Pheochromocytoma is a tumor located in one or both adrenal glands that releases excess hormones. Your doctor will likely order the following tests to measure the levels of those hormones in your body:
- 24-hour urine test. Collect during a 24-hour period a urine sample every time you urinate. Ask your doctor for written instructions about how to store, label and return the samples.
- Blood test. You will have blood drawn for laboratory work. Talk to your doctor about special preparations, such as fasting or skipping a medication. Remember not to skip even a dose of medication without instructions from your doctor.
If the results of lab tests indicate the possibility of a pheochromocytoma, your doctor will order one or more imaging tests to locate a possible tumor. These tests may include:
- M-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) imaging, a scanning technology detecting tiny amounts of an injected radioactive compound taken up by certain tumors
- Positron emission tomography (PET), a scanning technology detecting radioactive compounds taken up by a tumor
- CT scan, a specialized X-ray technology
- MRI, which uses radio waves and a magnetic field to produce detailed images
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