Bilirubin Blood Test

What is a Bilirubin Blood Test?

A bilirubin blood test is a measure of the amount of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a breakdown product of hemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your body's tissues. A bilirubin test may be ordered when your doctor suspects that you may have liver disease, hemolytic anemia or bile duct obstruction.

Preparation for Bilirubin Test

  • No special preparation is necessary for this type of test.
  • Follow the instructions your doctor or lab gives you.
  • Procedure for Bilirubin Test

  • A blood sample will be taken from a vein on the inside of the elbow or the back of your hand.
  • The area will be cleansed with an antiseptic and an elastic band will be put around the upper arm to help the vein become more prominent.
  • A needle will be inserted into the vein and a small amount of blood will be taken and collected into a tube.
  • After the procedure, pressure will be applied to the blood collection site.
  • The sample will be sent for analysis.
  • Types of Bilirubin Tests

  • Total Bilirubin Test: This test measures the amount of total bilirubin in your blood.
  • Direct Bilirubin Test: This test measures the amount of direct bilirubin in your blood.
  • Indirect Bilirubin Test: This test measures the amount of indirect bilirubin in your blood.
  • Risks of Bilirubin Tests

  • Bleeding: You may experience bleeding or bruising at the puncture site.
  • Infection: You may experience infection at the puncture site.
  • Why a Bilirubin Test is Performed?

    A bilirubin test may be done to check for liver diseases, such as Cirrhosis, Hepatitis, or Gallstone Obstruction. It may also be ordered to evaluate a newborn for jaundice, a condition in which the skin and whites of the eyes have a yellowish hue.

    When a Bilirubin Test is Ordered?

  • When your doctor suspects that you have liver disease, hemolytic anemia, bile duct obstruction, or jaundice.
  • When you have symptoms such as pain in the abdomen or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
  • When you're having a biochemistry profile to investigate any underlying liver disorder.