urinalysis in liver disease

Last reviewed 06/2021

The urinanalysis results in three classes of liver disease are presented:

  • obstructive jaundice:
    • urine is initially dark orange but may become green as the jaundice deepens
    • positive for bilirubin
    • negative for urobilinogen in complete cholestasis

  • haemolytic jaundice:
    • urine normal colour but may darken on standing
    • negative for bilirubin
    • positive for urobilinogen

  • compensated hepatic cirrhosis:
    • negative for bilirubin
    • may be positive for urobilinogen because the failing liver does not adequately metabolize the normal quantity of re-absorbed urobilinogen