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Bilirubin (Total and Conj.)
Bilirubin, a breakdown product of hemoglobin, is the predominant pigment in a substance produced by the liver called bile. Excess bilirubin causes yellowing of body tissues (jaundice). There are two tests for bilirubin: direct-reacting (conjugated) and indirect-reacting (unconjugated). Differentiating between the two is important diagnostically, as elevated levels of indirect bilirubin are usually caused by liver cell dysfunction (e.g. hepatitis), while elevations of direct bilirubin typically result from obstruction either within the liver (intrahepatic) or a source outside the liver (e.g. gallstones or a tumor blocking the bile ducts). Bilirubin measurements are especially valuable in newborns, as extremely elevated levels of unconjugated bilirubin can accumulate in the brain, causing irreparable damage.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

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