A year-old white man presents for evaluation of an asymptomatic elevation in bilirubin detected on a chemistry panel during an annual physical examination. Thirty years ago, he had abnormal liver function tests attributed to use of an unknown medication that resolved when the drug was discontinued. He reports no jaundice, pruritus, or family history of liver disease and takes no medications. His liver was 7.
High bilirubin levels: Meaning, symptoms, and tests
Bilirubin is a yellow compound that occurs in the normal catabolic pathway that breaks down heme in vertebrates. This catabolism is a necessary process in the body's clearance of waste products that arise from the destruction of aged or abnormal red blood cells. For example, the molecules excreted in the urine differ from those in the feces. Bilirubin is excreted in bile and urine , and elevated levels may indicate certain diseases. Its subsequent breakdown products, such as stercobilin , cause the brown color of faeces. A different breakdown product, urobilin , is the main component of the straw-yellow color in urine.
Evaluating Elevated Bilirubin Levels in Asymptomatic Adults
Bilirubin is a yellowish substance in your blood. It forms after red blood cells break down, and it travels through your liver, gallbladder, and digestive tract before being excreted. Typically, bilirubin levels fall somewhere between 0. Anything above 1.
Bilirubin is formed by the breakdown of red blood cells in the body. The liver helps to excrete it. High levels of bilirubin can lead to jaundice.