What is an Urobilinogen in urine test?

An urobilinogen in urine test measures the amount of urobilinogen in a urine sample. Urobilinogen is formed from the reduction of bilirubin. Bilirubin is a yellowish substance found in your liver that helps break down red blood cells. Normal urine contains some urobilinogen. If there is little or no urobilinogen in urine, it can mean your liver isn't working correctly. Too much urobilinogen in urine can indicate a liver disease such as hepatitis or cirrhosis.

Why do I need an urobilinogen in urine test?

Your health care provider may have ordered this test as part of your regular checkup, to monitor an existing liver condition, or if you have symptoms of a liver disease.

These include:

  • Jaundice, a condition that causes your skin and eyes to turn yellow

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

  • Dark colored urine

  • Pain and swelling in the abdomen

  • Itchy skin

What do the results mean?

If your test results show too little or no urobilinogen in your urine, it may indicate:

  • A blockage in the structures that carry bile from your liver

  • A blockage in the blood flow of the liver

  • A problem with liver function


If your test results show a higher-than-normal level of urobilinogen, it may indicate:

  • Hepatitis

  • Cirrhosis

  • Liver damage due to drugs

  • Hemolytic anemia, a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed before they can be replaced. This leaves the body without enough healthy red blood cells


If your results are abnormal, it does not necessarily indicate you have a medical condition requiring treatment. Be sure to tell your health care provider about any medicines and supplements you are taking, as these can affect your results. If you are a woman, you should tell your health care provider if you are menstruating