• Test Code - PL0035
  • Test Name - Total Bilirubin
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Test Details & Preparation


  • Total bilirubin test is done to screen for or monitor liver disorders or haemolytic anaemia.

  • Total bilirubin test is performed if your doctor thinks that you have symptoms of liver damage, liver disease, bile duct blockage, haemolytic anaemia, or a liver-related metabolic problem if a newborn has jaundice.

  • In adults, a blood sample drawn from a vein in the arm in newborns, a blood sample from a heel-stick non-invasive technology is available in some health care facilities that will measure bilirubin by using an instrument placed on the skin (transcutaneous bilirubin meter).

  • Fasting requirements vary by laboratory ask your lab or doctor for instructions.

  • For adults and children, increased total bilirubin that is mainly unconjugated (indirect) bilirubin may be a result of haemolytic, transfusion reaction, Cirrhosis, etc.

  • If conjugated (direct) bilirubin is elevated more than unconjugated (indirect) bilirubin, there typically is a problem associated with decreased elimination of bilirubin by the liver cells. Some conditions that may cause this include viral hepatitis, drug reactions and alcoholic liver disease.

  • Conjugated (direct) bilirubin is also elevated more than unconjugated (indirect) bilirubin when there is some kind of blockage of the bile ducts. This may occur, for example, with gallstones getting into the bile ducts, tumours and scarring of the bile ducts.

  • Low levels of bilirubin are not generally a concern and are not monitored.

  • For newborns, an elevated bilirubin level may be temporary and resolve itself within a few days to two weeks. However, if the bilirubin level is above a critical threshold or rapidly increases, an investigation of the cause is needed so appropriate treatment can be initiated.


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