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Urinary Pyrroles

The condition Pyroluria may be a common undiagnosed feature of many emotional and behavioural disorders.  Pyroluria is a condition which causes the body to over-produce a group of compounds known as kryptopyrroles. The measurement of urinary kryptopyrroles may be indicated for individuals with behavioural and emotional disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Pyroluria can be genetic, or induced by oxidative stress, and the presence of kryptopyrroles in the urine usually correlates with nutrient deficiency. Kryptopyrroles bind irreversibly to vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and zinc, rendering them inactive and depleting them from the body through urinary excretion. A deficiency of arachidonic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) is also common in pyroluria.

When these nutrients bind to the kryptopyrroles the nutrients are no longer available to complete their important roles as co-factors in neurotransmitter production, enzyme production and activation and metabolism.  This can further aggravate a patient’s symptoms and lead to nutrient deficiency.

Pyroluria is a stress-related condition and when symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings, behavioural problems etc are brought on by stressors, testing for urinary kryptopyrroles should be considered. It has also been proposed that pyroluria may be due to a stress-induced variance in intestinal permeability, which allows kryptopyrroles to re-enter systemic circulation.


Specimen Requirements

A urine specimen is collected from the second morning void. Collection must be performed only at a Australian Clinical Labs Collection centre, please call 1300 554 480 to arrange collection.


Patient Preparation

  • If the patient is taking a B6 or zinc supplement it is advised they cease this 3 days prior to taking the test. If this is not appropriate or possible, it should be noted on the request form as B6 and Zinc can mask the presence of urinary pyrroles.
  • Do not collect urine during menstruation


Turnaround Time

Turnaround time of test is generally 10-14 working days.


Interpretive Guide

The analysis of kryptopyrroles is very sensitive and results are expressed as ug/dL (micrograms of urinary pyrrole per decilitre of urine).

Samples containing urinary pyrroles at a level of 0-10 ug/dL are considered normal or negative.  Samples containing urinary pyrroles at a level of >10 but less than 20 ug/dL are considered borderline.  Samples containing urinary pyrroles at a level above 20 ug/dL are considered positive.


Treatment Considerations

Many individuals with Pyroluria respond well to a management plan that incorporates supplementation with vitamin B6, zinc and omega-6 essential fatty acids (GLA) where indicated. High intestinal permeability/ malabsorption, stress and genetic factors also need to be considered in the approach to treatment and management of individuals with Pyroluria.


Collection Centres for Pyrrole Testing










Operating Hours



1868 Dandenong Road, Clayton 3168

(03) 9538 6724

Monday-Friday 7:30am-5pm

Saturday 7:30am-12pm


Clifton Hill

41 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill 3068

(03) 9481 0262

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8:30am-12:30pm



13 Laffers Road, Belair 5052

(08) 8278 2651

Monday-Friday 8:30am-1:30pm



1 Goodwood Road, Wayville 5034

(08) 8271 5721

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 7:30am-4:30pm, Tuesday & Thursday 8am-5pm



108 The Parade, Norwood 5067

(08) 8362 2612

Monday-Friday 7:30am-2:30pm, Saturday 8am-12pm



Ageless Health Clinic 111/12 Salonika Street, The Avenue, Parap 0820

(08)8942 1177

Monday-Friday 8am-1pm



Darwin Private Hospital, Rocklands Drive, Tiwi 0810

(08) 8945 2506

Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 8am-12pm