Bilirubin testing is usually done as part of a group of tests to check the health of your liver. Bilirubin testing may be done to:

  • Investigate jaundice — elevated levels of bilirubin can cause yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice). A common use of the test is to measure bilirubin levels in newborns.
  • Determine whether there might be blockage in your liver's bile ducts
  • Help detect or monitor the progression of other liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • Help detect increased destruction of red blood cells
  • Help follow how a treatment is working
  • Help evaluate suspected drug toxicity

Some common tests that might be done at the same time as bilirubin testing include:

  • Liver function tests. A group of blood tests that measure certain enzymes or proteins in your blood.
  • Albumin and total protein. Levels of albumin — a protein made by the liver — and total protein show how well your liver is making proteins that your body needs to fight infections and perform other functions.
  • Complete blood count. This test measures several components and features of your blood.
  • Prothrombin time. This test measures the clotting time of plasma.
Oct. 13, 2015