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5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid urine, 5-HIAA, HIAA
This test finds out how much 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) is in your urine.
Your liver breaks down the hormone serotonin into 5-HIAA. This waste product is normally sent from your body in your urine. Tumors called functioning carcinoids secrete serotonin. Carcinoid tumors are found in the intestinal tract, lungs, appendix, and other body tissues.
You may need this test if you have symptoms of a carcinoid tumor. Carcinoid tumors can occur anywhere, but most start in the small bowel. Signs and symptoms include:
Flushing in your face and neck
Diarrhea and abdominal cramps
Nausea and vomiting
Low blood pressure
Unexplained weight loss
Asthma-like respiratory symptoms
Sexual dysfunction in men
Your health care provider may also order a biopsy to help diagnose a tumor. Your provider may also order a liver scan if he or she suspects that the tumors have spread.
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider.
Normal results are 3 to 15 milligrams (mg) of 5-HIAA over 24 hours. Women generally have lower levels than men.
Higher levels of 5-HIAA may mean you have:
Lower levels of 5-HIAA may mean you have:
This test requires a 24-hour urine sample. For this sample, you must collect all of your urine for 24 hours. Empty your bladder completely first in the morning without collecting it and note the time. Then collect your urine every time you go to the bathroom over the next 24 hours.
This test poses no known risks.
Eating certain foods containing serotonin can raise 5-HIAA levels. These foods include:
Certain nuts, including walnuts and pecans
Certain drugs can raise or lower your 5-HIAA levels. These include:
Cough medicines or antihistamines
Medicines to relax muscles
Strenuous exercise can also raise your 5-HIAA levels.
Don't eat foods containing serotonin for at least three days before the test or during the testing period. You may also need to stop taking certain medicines before the test. Be sure your health care provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.