Direct Bilirubin

 Formal Name: Conjugated bilirubin What is this test? This test is for looking the bilirubin in the blood

 Formal Name: Conjugated bilirubin

What is this test?

This test is for looking the bilirubin in the blood and/or urine. For measuring the level of bilirubin in the serum, there are 2 ways – direct bilirubin and total-value bilirubin. Bilirubin is a substance that’s the byproduct of breaking down old red blood cells. This is a normal, regular process. Bilirubin is also a part of the bile that makes sure that the digestion is working and our body can absorb all the digested nutrition.

A small amount of bilirubin in the blood is a normal thing. A healthy adult creates 250-350 milligrams of bilirubin every day.

Bilirubin that gets bound to a certain protein albumin in the blood is called unconjugated or indirect bilirubin. Direct or conjugated bilirubin travels from the liver into the small intestine. Even after that, a very small amount just passes to the kidneys and the kidney extracts those from the body with the urine. That also gives the urine a distinct yellowish color.

The test is performed for identifying any problem with the liver, like blockages like gallstones or hepatitis etc.

Why do I need this test?


You may need the test if you have symptoms including –

  • Nausea
  • Jaundice – yellowing of whites of the eyes and the skin
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Pain or swelling in the belly
  • Fatigue

You may also need to perform the test if you’re habituated to drinking a lot of alcohol on a regular basis. Drinking too much alcohol is harmful to the liver over time. This test helps in diagnosing for the possibility of liver damage.

What do my test results mean?


The result of the test may vary depending on your age, health history, gender, the method of performing the test and other things. The test result may not directly say that you have a problem with your liver. Ask your healthcare provider for the meaning of the result in your case.

The result is given in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Normal results of the blood test range from 0-0.3 mg/dL in adults.

If your result is higher than the range, bilirubin may also show up in your urine. Generally, bilirubin isn’t present in the urine for a normal, healthy individual. The higher result often indicates a high possibility of a liver problem.

Higher levels also indicate that you may have

  • Scarring of the bile ducts
  • Septicemia
  • Certain cancers or tumors
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Certain rare inherited diseases

If the bilirubin is low, it’s not a matter to be concerned about.

Test performing procedure

For the test, a blood sample is necessary. Using a needle, the technician at the lab will collect blood from the vein of an arm. Even a urine sample may be necessary.

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