dipstick urinanalysis (urobilinogen)

Last reviewed 01/2018


  • Urobilinogen is normally present in low concentrations. It is formed in the intestine from bilirubin, and a portion of it is absorbed back into the bloodstream
    • high urobilinogen
      • when urobilinogen is high it could be a sign of liver disease such as hepatitis and cirrhosis
    • low urobilinogen
      • when urine urobilinogen is low or absent, it can mean hepatic or biliary obstruction


  • bile (mainly conjugated bilirubin) is converted to urobilinogen by intestinal bacteria. Most of the urobilinogen is excreted in faeces or reabsorbed and transported back to the liver to be converted back into bile. The remaining urobilinogen (about 1% of total) is excreted in the urine
  • high bilirubin
    • an elevated level of conjugated serum bilirubin implies liver disease and can be an early feature of hepatobiliary disease