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Urine melanin test

Thormahlen's test; Melanin - urine

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

Normally, melanin is not present in urine.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

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

Risks

There are no risks associated with this test.

Considerations

This test is rarely done anymore to diagnose melanoma because there are better tests available.

References

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Melanin - urine. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:771-772.

Gangadhar TC, Fecher LA, Miller CJ, et al. Melanoma. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 69.

  • Urine sample

    Urine sample - illustration

    A clean-catch urine sample is performed by collecting the sample of urine in midstream. Men or boys should wipe clean the head of the penis. Women or girls need to wash the area between the lips of the vagina with soapy water and rinse well. A small amount of urine should initially fall into the toilet bowl before it is collected (this clears the urethra of contaminants). Then, in a clean container, catch about 1 to 2 ounces of urine and remove the container from the urine stream. The container is then given to the health care provider.

    Urine sample

    illustration

    • Urine sample

      Urine sample - illustration

      A clean-catch urine sample is performed by collecting the sample of urine in midstream. Men or boys should wipe clean the head of the penis. Women or girls need to wash the area between the lips of the vagina with soapy water and rinse well. A small amount of urine should initially fall into the toilet bowl before it is collected (this clears the urethra of contaminants). Then, in a clean container, catch about 1 to 2 ounces of urine and remove the container from the urine stream. The container is then given to the health care provider.

      Urine sample

      illustration

    Tests for Urine melanin test

     

     

    Review Date: 10/18/2018

    Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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