Homovanillic acid measurement in clinical research: A review of methodology

Farooq Amin*, Michael Davidson, Kenneth L. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite its serious limitations, measuring the concentrations of homovanillic acid (HVA) in body fluids is perhaps the most direct method currently available to assess the changing activity of central dopamine (DA) neurons in living humans. The concentrations of HVA in body fluids are determined not only by the activity of central DA neurons but also by a number of unrelated factors such as the other sources of HVA and the elimination of HVA from the body. This article reviews many factors that help to determine the concentrations of HVA in body fluids and therefore must be considered in studies employing HVA as a possible index of central DA neuronal activity. The need for further methodological work is indicated to improve the use of body fluid HVA measurements in clinical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-148
Number of pages26
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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