liver health

Colaluria - Causes and Symptoms


Colaluria indicates the presence of bile salts in the urine.

This symptom typically manifests as an obstruction of the biliary tract. When the outflow of bile is hindered, in fact, these substances accumulate in the blood (colalemia); consequently, they are excreted in the urine.

The main diseases that cause cholaluria are gallbladder stones and cholecystitis. However, the causes can be multiple and divided into:

  • Intrahepatic : hepatitis, drug-induced toxicity, alcoholic liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis and hepatic carcinoma;
  • Extrahepatic : pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis and sclerosing cholangitis.

The presence of bile salts in the urine is evident due to the dark color these assume and to the formation of a yellowish foam.

To qualitatively determine the colaluria, the Hay test can be used, which exploits the properties of bile salts to lower the surface tension of urine. The test consists in sprinkling powdered sulfur flowers in a urine sample: normally these float, but in the presence of bile salts they sink.

Possible Causes * of Colaluria

  • Gall bladder stones
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • cholangiocarcinoma
  • Sclerosing cholangitis
  • cholecystitis
  • Hepatitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver steatosis
  • Liver tumor
  • Pancreatic cancer