Your doctor will order the test if they notice symptoms suggestive of liver disease or biliary obstruction, or if jaundice is suspected.
A blood sample taken from a vein is needed for the test.
In newborns, due to the immature enzyme system, bilirubin builds up (neonatal jaundice) when haemoglobin is broken down. It is a physiological process that takes place in 1-3 weeks. If jaundice persists, a thorough investigation is required due to suspicion of biliary malformation.
Adults may also have elevated bilirubin levels due to decreased or underactive bilirubin-converting enzyme (Gilbert’s disease). High bilirubin levels can indicate several liver and bile duct disorders, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis, and alcoholism, or even a viral illness. In addition, even in case of malnutrition, its level may increase minimally. However, the result in itself is not a diagnosis, it is worth examining liver function with other tests.