Urobilinogen in Urine

What is Urobilinogen in Urine?

Urobilinogen in urine is a type of pigment that is produced as a result of breakdown of heme-containing proteins during normal intestinal absorption and metabolism. It is usually present in small amounts in healthy individuals and can be measured by testing a urine sample. The presence of urobilinogen in urine can be an indication of an underlying health condition.


Before you begin the testing procedure for urobilinogen in urine, it is important to prepare properly. Make sure that you are using clean and sterile materials and follow the instructions for the test given to you by your doctor or nurse. Ensure that the collection container you are using is clean and dry. When handling or disposing of the sample ensure that it is done properly, using gloves if necessary. Abstain from eating or drinking anything that might affect the results of the test.


Once the preparatory steps are completed, follow the instructions given for collecting the sample. Usually, this involves urinating in a sample cup or container and then labeling it with your name, medical record number, and date and time of collection. Ensure that the sample is sealed securely before it is submitted to the laboratory for testing.


Urobilinogen in urine can be classified into two types: direct and indirect. Direct urobilinogen is produced from breakdown of heme-containing proteins in the intestine, while indirect urobilinogen is produced by the liver from heme present in the blood from other sources.


For healthy individuals with no underlying health conditions, presence of urobilinogen in urine will usually be within the normal range. Presence of higher than normal amounts of urobilinogen in urine can indicate the presence of underlying health conditions including hepatic disorders, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver damage, or decreased kidney function. If you are concerned about your test results, it is important to consult your doctor.

Why test for Urobilinogen in Urine?

Testing for Urobilinogen in urine can help diagnose a variety of conditions, including: liver disease, abnormal hemoglobin metabolism, biliary obstruction, and portal hypertension. Urobilinogen is also helpful in determining how well the liver is working, by measuring its ability to process heme molecules. This can be beneficial for those with liver disease or other related conditions, as testing can detect their liver's ability to process heme proteins and toxins.

When to test for Urobilinogen?

Urobilinogen should be tested when any of the following is suspected: liver disease, portal hypertension, or biliary obstruction. Urobilinogen testing can also be done if there is hemolytic anemia, inflammation of the bile ducts, or obstruction of the gallbladder. It may also be done as part of routine testing if your doctor suspects an underlying condition.