Indican excretion in the elderly

J. L. Kirkland, E. Vargas, Michael Lye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


It has been suggested that up to a half of elderly hospitalized patients excrete an abnormally high concentration of indican compared with young individuals. Thus, the commonly used colorimetric qualitative test for urinary indican excess may be invalid in the aged. However, of 21 young control subjects, 18 healthy elderly subjects, and 23 disabled, elderly, long-stay patients, no individual had levels of indican detectable by the standard colorimetric qualitative test. The use of a quantitative assay demonstrated that urinary indican concentration is similar in young and elderly individuals. A diurnal variation in urinary indican concentration was discovered which may affect the interpretation of the qualitative test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-719
Number of pages3
JournalPostgraduate Medical Journal
Issue number697
StatePublished - 1983


  • Bacterial overgrowth
  • Diurnal variation
  • Indican
  • Urinary excretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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