Bilirubin Direct Blood Test
A Bilirubin Direct Blood Test is used to evaluate liver and biliary disease. Increased direct bilirubin occurs with biliary diseases, including both intrahepatic and extrahepatic lesions.
The blood test for bilirubin measures the level of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is found in the bile and is typically yellowish - brown in color. When the liver breaks down old red blood cells, this fluid is produced by the liver. This fluid is then discarded from the body through the stool. If bilirubin is not removed from the bloodstream or is not attached to glucose - derived acid (conjugated) in the liver, this may be a sign that the liver is damaged.
High bilirubin can contribute to liver, gallbladder, or bile duct problems. Those problems may include:
- liver diseases, like hepatitis
- drug toxicity
- cancer of the gallbladder or pancreas
- cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver
- Gilbert’s syndrome, a genetic disease
- biliary stricture, when a section of the bile duct is too narrow to allow fluid to pass
High bilirubin may also contribute to blood problems rather than liver problems. Blood cells that break down too quickly may be caused by:
- Transfusion reaction
- Hemolytic anemia
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