A patient is asked to go for bilirubin test to diagnose or monitor the health of the liver (for any liver disorders or hemolytic anemia) bile duct disease. Usually, it is part of a group of test undertaken with couple of other test as well. Common group of test that includes Bilirubin total are: Liver function test: group of blood test to evaluate certain enzymes or proteins in blood Complete blood count: evaluates several components and features of blood Albumin and total protein: albumin is a type of protein made by the liver. This test predicts the progress of total protein produced by the liver which is needed by the body to fight against any infections Prothrombin time: measures clotting time of plasma
Doctor prescribes bilirubin total test in addition with other test like aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphate and alanine aminotransferase. Generally, the test is conducted on patients who are likely showing abnormal signs of liver function.
Bilirubin testing helps in detecting liver function related diseases such as:
To detect or monitor any development of liver disease like hepatitis
To investigate the elevated level of bilirubin that is responsible for yellowing of skin and whites in eyes causing jaundice.
Test conducted on newborns as well to measure the bilirubin level.
Determine the possibility of blockage in liver’s bile ducts
Find out any ongoing treatment’s progress for the liver function
To detect growth of further damage of red blood cells
Help in evaluating suspected drug toxicity
Bilirubin total test is prescribed with symptoms such as:
Abdominal pain or swelling
Nausea and vomiting
Dark and amber-color urine
General malaise often responsible for chronic liver disease
Bilirubin is identified as a waste product of an orange-yellow pigment produced by normal breakdown of heme (component of hemoglobin). Heme is found in red blood cells (RBC). Eventually bilirubin is eliminated from the body processed by liver. And it is normally present in urine. Higher levels of bilirubin content in the blood indicate liver problems in an individual.
The concentration of bilirubin level differs from men to women as its presence is slightly higher in men.
If the level of Bilirubin increases in the blood and your skin has turned yellow or whites of the eyes, it might appear that the person is suffering from jaundice.
The normal level of bilirubin total for adults above 18 is 1.2 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) of blood. While for those, who are under 18 years of age, 1 mg/dl is the normal level of bilirubin total.
The test helps to measure the presence of a total amount of bilirubin in the blood to evaluate the liver function. It also helps in diagnosing anemia caused by red blood cells. After 120 days of circulation, RBCs starts to degrade leading to release of heme that gets converted into bilirubin. This is also referred as unconjugated bilirubin. There is a chance of increased unconjugated bilirubin with the unusual amount of RBC destruction; this is when the liver is unable to process bilirubin. On the contrary, conjugated bilirubin cannot pass bilirubin for removal when the above mentioned process takes place. It leads to the cause of blockage of bile ducts or acute hepatitis.
For newborns, increased and unconjugated bilirubin level is found within a few days of birth. It is referred as physiologic jaundice of the newborn. It is caused in the newborn due to that fact that sometimes their liver is not matured enough to process bilirubin.
There are few things to consider before going in for the test. Firstly you will have to fast for several hours before the test. Also you can go for some medications which help to decrease the total bilirubin in your body.
Doctors also prescribe some those medications such as:
Test Method 1: Blood test is required to investigate the cause of any liver disease. Usually, blood is drawn from the vein of your arm by inserting a small needle. The blood is collected in a small tube attached to the needle.
While for newborn infants blood is obtained through a sharp lance from heelstick (break into the skin of the heel). It might leave behind a slight bruising at the puncture but gets cleared gradually.
Test Method2: In advanced healthcare facilities, an instrument of non-invasive technology is placed on the skin to measure bilirubin level in your blood. The instrument is known as transcutaneous bilirubin meter.
Report: Blood test reports turn-around time is 24 hours.
Individuals showing symptoms or signs of liver disease, liver damage, bile duct blockage, liver-related metabolic problem, and hemolytic anemia are often asked to take this test. Also when an infant is suffering from jaundice, bilirubin test is prescribed.