Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) is an enzyme that inactivates catecholamines, such as epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. This process affects each of these catecholamines.COMT regulates cognitive function, memory, mood and pain perception. A variety of drugs, such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), entacapone, opioids, SSRIs and antipsychotics, may be directly or indirectly impacted by the change in catecholamines inactivation.
Activity of this enzyme increases linearly with age, regardless of genotype. COMT comes in two forms: soluble and membrane. The soluble form is most often found in the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract, while the membrane-bound form is most common in the brain.
Indications for Testing
Patients taking medications used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, specifically entacapone, would be good candidates for COMT testing. Providers looking for patients that may be more responsive to NRT may also consider COMT testing. COMT genetic variations may also affect patients taking opioids, antidepressants or antipsychotic, however the evidence is conflicting. In general, assessment of medical necessity for testing is up to the provider’s clinical judgment.
COMT testing is currently not covered by Medicare. Private insurance coverage varies by insurance company. The CPT code for COMT testing is 81479 (provided as guidance only).
Click here to order testing supplies or call Client Services at 800-837–8362.
- Buccal Swabs: 4 sterile buccal swabs
- Blood: 5-10cc whole blood lavender-top EDTA or yellow-top ACD-A tubes
Turnaround Time: 7 business days, faster turnaround available for clinical trials