This work was undertaken with the idea of determining whether the quantitative estimation of urobilin in the stool can be relied on to indicate the degree of blood destruction going on in the body, and also whether such estimation is of practical clinical value.
According to the theory most commonly accepted, urobilin is a decomposition product of bile, formed chiefly in the intestine by the action of putrefactive bacteria on the bile pigments. The quantity of urobilin in the feces does not represent the total amount of bile excreted into the intestine, for part of the urobilin is reabsorbed in the form of urobilinogen. Yet there seems to be a pretty constant relationship between the two, and the urobilin output may be taken as a rough measure of bile excretion. Since the amount of bile formed is, with a normal liver, directly dependent on the quantity of blood pigment brought