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.
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 doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
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.
This test is rarely performed as there are better diagnostic tests available.
McPherson RA, Ben-Ezra J, Zhao S. Basic examination of urine. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 27.
Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.