Urobilinogen Urine Test

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-21 (EDT)

See Also Lab Tests

Urobilinogen is a product of bilirubin, which is transformed by bacteria in the bowel. This test can help detect impaired liver function. If bilirubin levels are high due to overproduction resulting from increased red blood cell (RBC) lysis or hemolysis, urobilinogen levels will be elevated. Urine screening for urobilinogen is rarely performed as it is easier to determine the cause of elevated bilirubin levels by fractionating the bilirubin into its direct and indirect components.[1], [2]


  • If bilirubin is high due to defects in bilirubin metabolism or obstruction of excretion, urobilinogen levels will not be elevated as excretion of bilirubin to the bowel is needed for formation of urobilinogen.

Patient Preparation

  • Factors which can cause increased levels:
  • alkaline pH
  • Factors which can cause decreased levels:
  • Drugs: Cholestatic drugs, antibiotics

Clinical Implications

High levels indicate:

Low levels indicate:

  • Biliary obstruction
  • Cholestasis

Associated Tests


  1. Pagana Kathleen D, Pagana Timothy J (2006) Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Mosby.
  2. Weatherby Dicken, Ferguson Scott (2002) Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective, Bear Mountain.