Test Detail
Interpreting Results
City Price Info

Content created by

Written by
Dr. Shreya Gupta
BDS, MDS - Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
Want to know more?
Read our Editorial Policy

Bilirubin Total

You need to provide
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. No special preparation required


What is Bilirubin Total?

The Bilirubin Total helps measure the amount of bilirubin present in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment that is made during the normal breakdown of red blood cells. It passes through the liver and is eventually excreted out of the body.
This test is advised if one experiences symptoms of liver disease such as dark-colored urine, jaundice, and vomiting. It is also done as a part of liver function test. It may also be advised in newborns to monitor neonatal jaundice. It can even be used to indicate history of heavy intake of alcohol.
High levels of bilirubin may lead to yellowing of skin and eyes, in case of jaundice.

Why is Bilirubin Total done?

The Bilirubin Total is done:

  1. In case of signs or symptoms of liver disease such as dark-colored urine, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue 

  2. As a part of liver function test or routine health checkup  

  3. In case of history of taking heavy intake of alcohol

  4. In case of exposure to hepatitis virus 

  5. In case of signs or symptoms of hemolytic anemia like pale skin, jaundice, splenomegaly 

  6. In newborns, to monitor neonatal jaundice

What does Bilirubin Total Measure?

The Bilirubin Total measures the amount of bilirubin present in the blood of a person. Bilirubin is an orange-yellow waste pigment produced by the normal breakdown of heme. The heme is a component of hemoglobin and is found in red blood cells. The liver processes the bilirubin and eliminates it from the body. 

The life span of red blood cells is about 120 days. The heme which is released from the hemoglobin is converted into bilirubin which is called unconjugated bilirubin. It is then carried to the liver by proteins, where it gets attached to sugars and becomes conjugated bilirubin. This conjugated bilirubin enters the bile from the liver and passes to the small intestine. Here, it gets broken down by the bacteria and further gets eliminated in the stool. These breakdown products of bilirubin are responsible for giving the characteristic brown color to the stool.

A healthy adult body produces approximately 250 - 350 mg of bilirubin daily. About 85% of bilirubin comes from damaged or degraded RBCs while the remaining amount comes from the bone marrow or liver.

Small amount of unconjugated bilirubin is released in the blood normally, but there is no virtual presence of conjugated bilirubin in the blood. 

Both the forms of bilirubin can be measured or evaluated by the laboratory tests, and total bilirubin (sum of conjugated or unconjugated bilirubin) may be reported. In case there is an increase in levels of bilirubin, there will be yellowing of the skin and white of the eyes, giving the appearance of jaundice.  

Interpreting Bilirubin Total results


The normal values of total bilirubin may range from 0.30 mg/dL to 1.20 mg.dL.

Reference range may vary from lab to lab*

  • Increased total bilirubin which is mainly unconjugated may be due to hemolytic anemia, transfusion reactions 

  • Increased total bilirubin which is mainly conjugated may be due to viral hepatitis, drug reactions, alcoholic liver disease, gall stones or any obstruction in the bile ducts

  • Low levels of bilirubin are usually not a cause for concern and therefore not monitored 

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bilirubin Total

Frequently Asked Questions about Bilirubin Total

Q. What does Bilirubin Total Test aid in diagnosing?
In case of adults and older children, Bilirubin Total Test aids to diagnose and monitor diseases of the liver and bile duct. These diseases may include cirrhosis, gallstones, or hepatitis. This test also helps to diagnose sickle cell disease or other causes of hemolytic anemia. In case of newborns with jaundice, this test is done to distinguish the causes of jaundice.
Q. When is Bilirubin Total test advised?
The Bilirubin Total test is advised when a person shows symptoms of jaundice, drug toxicity, has a history of drinking, or has been exposed to hepatitis-causing viruses. The test is also advised to patients if they experience dark amber-colored urine, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, swelling, fatigue, and general malaise.
Q. What other tests are advised along with Bilirubin Total Test?
Other tests which are advised along with Bilirubin Total test include alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase tests. In case, hemolytic anemia is suspected then the doctor may advise other tests such as complete blood count, reticulocyte count, haptoglobin, and LDH.
Q. How is the blood sample taken?
The healthcare provider takes a blood sample from the arm. The site from where the blood is to be withdrawn is cleaned with a swab of rubbing alcohol. This is then followed by inserting a small needle which has a tube attached to it for collecting blood. Once the sufficient blood for analysis is withdrawn, the needle is removed. The site is then covered with a gauze pad.
Q. Is there any risk associated with the withdrawal of blood sample procedure?
As such there is no risk but in few cases, bruising, bleeding, and infection at the puncture site can be seen. In very few cases, there can be swelling of the vein after the blood is withdrawn.
+ more


Orders Delivered
Get the link to download App

All products displayed on Tata 1mg are procured from verified and licensed pharmacies. All labs listed on the platform are accredited


Tata 1mg uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption and is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant


Find affordable medicine substitutes, save up to 50% on health products, up to 80% off on lab tests and free doctor consultations.

Know more about Tata 1mgdownArrow

Access medical and health information

Tata 1mg provides you with medical information which is curated, written and verified by experts, accurate and trustworthy. Our experts create high-quality content about medicines, diseases, lab investigations, Over-The-Counter (OTC) health products, Ayurvedic herbs/ingredients, and alternative remedies.

Order medicines online

Get free medicine home delivery in over 1800 cities across India. You can also order Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and other Over-The-Counter (OTC) health products. Your safety is our top priority. All products displayed on Tata 1mg are procured from verified and licensed pharmacies.

Book lab tests

Book any lab tests and preventive health packages from certified labs and get tested from the comfort of your home. Enjoy free home sample collection, view reports online and consult a doctor online for free.

Consult a doctor online

Got a health query? Consult doctors online from the comfort of your home for free. Chat privately with our registered medical specialists to connect directly with verified doctors. Your privacy is guaranteed.