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Test Details
Test Code:PL0297
Test Name:Chromogranin A
Test Details & Preparation
The Chromogranin A test is used as a tumour marker. It may be ordered in combination with or in place of 5-HIAA to help diagnose carcinoid tumours. It is also used to help monitor the effectiveness of treatment and detect recurrence of this tumour. Sometimes it may be ordered with specific hormones, such as catecholamines, to help diagnose and monitor a pheochromocytoma. It may also be used to detect the presence of other neuroendocrine tumours, even those that do not secrete hormones.

A Chromogranin A test is ordered along with other tests when a doctor suspects that a person has symptoms that are due to a carcinoid tumour, pheochromocytoma, or other neuroendocrine tumour. Some signs and symptoms include flushing of the face and neck (appearance of deep red colour, usually with sudden onset) diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting rapid heart rate coughing, difficulty breathing etc. This test may be ordered periodically to help evaluate treatment effectiveness and monitor for tumour recurrence.

Chromogranin A concentrations are normally low. An increased level in a symptomatic person may indicate the presence of a tumour but will not tell the doctor what type it is or where it is. The quantity of Chromogranin A is not associated with the severity of a person's symptoms but is associated with the tumour burden - the mass of the tumour.

If concentrations of Chromogranin A are elevated prior to treatment and then fall, then treatment is likely to have been effective. If monitored levels begin to rise, then the person may have a recurrence of the tumour.

Chromogranin A concentrations may be elevated but not monitored with conditions such as liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, renal insufficiency, and with stress. These possible causes for elevated Chromogranin A levels should be considered when interpreting test results.
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