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Porphobilinogen PBG Test 24 hr Urine

Specimen Type: Urine


Porphobilinogen PBG Test 24 hr Urine

The Porphobilinogen (PBG) 24 Hour Urine Test is used to aid in the diagnosis of a category of diseases known as Porphyrias. Porphyrias are a series of inherited disorders which can affect the skin, nervous system, or both. Porphobilinogen is involved in the production of porphyrins which are used in the production of heme, an essential component of hemoglobin. If the body is lacking in one or more of the enzymes necessary for this process, the porphobilinogen and porphyrins can build up in the body to dangerous levels. Porphyria can lead to complications such as dehydration, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, skin damage, and breathing difficulties. Measuring the levels of PBG excreted in the urine can help a person's doctor to diagnose and differentiate between different types of Porphyria.

PBG testing is typically ordered when a person is showing symptoms associated with Porphyria. This type of test is most often done as a follow up to a positive result on a PBG Random Urine Test.  PBG testing is typically used to screen for Neurologic Porphyria which can cause symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, muscle weakness, confusion or hallucinations. It may also be used to help rule out Cutaneous Porphyria which commonly causes blisters, scarring, redness, itching, burning and swelling on the skin when it is exposed to sunlight.  Screening for Cutaneous Porphyria is typically done with a Porphyrins Urine Test.

Test results should be interpreted by a doctor who may determine if additional testing is necessary.

Turnaround for this test is typically 3-6 business days.

Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.


You will need to obtain a specimen collection container from the lab.  When collecting the 24 hour urine specimen, void at 8 AM and discard the specimen. Then collect all the urine, including the final specimen voided at the end of the 24-hour collection period in the 24-hour collection container. Specimen must be kept refrigerated during collection.

It may be necessary to discontinue certain medications which may impact the results of this Porphyrins Test.  Please check with your doctor to determine if you are taking any medications which may affect this test.



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