Urobilinogen in Urine


Urobilinogen test is a type of chemical test that is performed to determine the level of urobilinogen in urine. Urobilinogen is a colorless water soluble compound that is formed by the intestinal bacteria. Though urobilinogen is normally present in low concentrations, too low or high level of this may indicate health problems and further investigation may be required to determine the person’s true health condition.

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Urobilinogen Levels in Urine

The measuring level of urobilinogen is 0 – 8 mg/dl. A person’s normal concentration of urobilinogen in urine is less than 1 mg/dl. Any abnormal level may indicate either excessive breakdown of red blood cells, liver conditions, hematoma, excess production of urobilinogen, poisoning, and biliary obstruction or failure.

Causes of High Level of Urobilinogen in Urine

• Crush Syndrome is a fatal condition caused by a severe accident or crushing injury which particularly involves mass of large muscles that leads to blood loss, fluid loss, shock, renal failure, and hematuria.

• Viral Hepatitis is a serious liver inflammation which is usually caused by a virus and may lead to various liver dysfunctions.

• Ascending Cholangitis is an infection in the biliary tract due to some chronic obstructions which if not treated may lead to septicemia or even death.

• Metastatic Liver Diseases are cancerous tumors that originate from other parts of the body.

• Auto-Immune / Allergic / Collagen Disorder such as Hemolytic anemia, Evan’s syndrome, Hepatocellular injury, Cirrhosis, and Delayed Hemolytic Reaction.

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• Folate Deficiency Anemia is a lack of folic acid which leads to a decrease in the red blood cells that eventually disrupts the normal oxygen supply of the bodily tissues.

• Hematoma is a collection of blood that builds outside the blood vessels which can lead to swelling and pain.

• Pulmonary Embolism is a serious condition caused by the sudden blockage in the arteries that leads to low oxygen level present in the blood which if not resolved may result into various organ damage.

• Hemolysis is the abnormal breakdown of red blood cells which may lead to low red blood cell count in the body.

• Liver cirrhosis is a complication brought by various liver diseases that lead to severe scarring in the liver.

• Alcoholic Hepatitis is an inflammation in the liver due to excessive alcohol intake and if drinking is not stopped it may develop into serious liver damage.

• Organ Poisoning or Intoxication

Causes of Low Level of Urobilinogen in Urine

• Bile duct obstruction that is characterized by tube blockage which may lead to serious consequences.

• Crigler-Najjar syndrome is a rare inherited type of disorder in which a substance called bilirubin can’t be break down which may lead to brain damage.

Interfering Factors of Urobilinogen Test

The longer the exposure of the sample urine to light, the higher the chances of getting false results which is why urine specimen should be sent instantly into the laboratories after collection.

The level of urobilinogen in urine helps determine the presence of any internal liver damage. Some of these conditions may not impose any symptoms and may progress without warning. Early detection is important to avoid complications.

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