Urine Color

The color of urine can vary from almost colorless to black. Normal urine may show color variation ranging from pale yellow to deep amber. Urine color is typically a result of the degradation of the heme molecule into a urinary pigment called urochrome. Two other pigments contributing to the color of urine are uroerythrin and urobilin. Uroerythrin is usually associatied with amorphous urates in a refrigerated sample causing the sample to exhibit a pink coloration. Urobilin is produced from the oxidation of urobilinogen and results in an orange-brown color to urine that is not fresh. Dietary pigments, drugs, and their metabolites and various other abnormal substances may also contribute to the coloration of the urine sample.

Correlation of Urine Color
Color or Appearance Possible Cause
Colorless Highly dilute, recent fluid consumption
Pale yellow Normal
Yellow Normal
Amber Normal, concentrated urine
Deep yellow Concentrated sample, riboflavin, dehydration
Orange Antibiotic, pyridium, bilirubin, anticoagulant
Pink Porphyrin, myoglobin, hemoglobin, beet pigment, rhubarb
Red Porphyrin, myoglobin, hemoglobin, beet pigment, uroerythrin
Green Oxidized bilirubin (biliverdin), clorets, pseudomonas infections
Blue Diagnex, methylene blue, indicant
Brown Bilirubin, hematin, methemoglobin
Gray Furazolidone, nitrofurantoin
Black Melanin, homogenistic acid

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