What could cause bilirubin and urobilinogen to be present in urine?


Quick Answer

According to WebMD, the presence of bilirubin in the urine can indicate liver damage or bile flow blockage. Urobilinogen is often found in normal urine in trace amounts, but its presence can also indicate bile flow blockage and cirrhosis of the liver or hepatitis.

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Full Answer

According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, bilirubin is a waste product that is a component of bile, an intestinal fluid that aids in digestion. Certain liver diseases can cause bilirubin to enter the bloodstream, upon which it is excreted through the urine. Urobilinogen is a product of bilirubin that forms in the intestines. The presence of urobilinogen in urine tests can also indicate hemolytic anemia in addition to cirrhosis and hepatitis, a condition caused by the destruction of red blood cells.

Mayo Clinic explains that urinalysis testing consists of a visual examination, dipstick test and microscopic exam. During a visual examination, the physician inspects the urine for cloudiness, odors and blood. The dipstick is a plastic strip that is covered with chemical strips. The strip is dipped into the urine, and the strips change color in the presence of substances and abnormalities. During a microscopic exam, the urine is evaluated under a microscope to determine if high levels of white blood cells, red blood cells, yeasts, proteins or bacteria are present. If high levels are indicated, additional testing for underlying disorders is often required.

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