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Urine melanin

Definition

Urine melanin is a test to determine the abnormal presence of melanin in the urine.

Alternative Names

Thormahlen's test; Melanin - urine

How the test is performed

A clean-catch urine sample is needed.

How to prepare for the test

No special preparation is needed.

How the test will feel

The test involves only normal urination.

Why the test is performed

This test is used to diagnose melanoma, a type of skin cancer that produces melanin. If the cancer spreads (especially within the liver), the cancer may produce enough of this substance that it shows up in the urine.

Normal Values

Normally, melanin is not present in urine.

What abnormal results mean

If melanin is present in the urine, malignant melanoma is suspected.

What the risks are

There are no risks associated with this test.

Special considerations

This test is rarely performed as there are better diagnostic tests available.


Review Date: 8/24/2009
Reviewed By: Frank A. Greco, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Biophysical Laboratory, The Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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