Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid produced by the liver.
This article discusses the laboratory test to measure the amount of bilirubin in the urine. Large amounts of bilirubin in the body can lead to jaundice.
Bilirubin may also be measured with a blood test. For information on that test, see: Bilirubin - blood
Conjugated bilirubin - urine; Direct bilirubin - urine
This test can be done an any urine sample, although sometimes a 24-hour urine sample is needed. For the 24-hour urine sample:
Label the container with your name, the date, and the time when you finish it, and return it as instructed.
For an infant, thoroughly wash the area where urine exits the body.
This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can move the bag, causing the urine to be absorbed by the diaper. You may need extra collection bags.
Check the infant often and change the bag after the infant has urinated into it. Drain the urine from the bag into the container provided by your health care provider.
Deliver the sample to the laboratory or to your health care provider as soon as possible.
Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking any drugs that may affect the test.
Drugs that can increase the level of bilirubin include:
Drugs that can reduce the level of bilirubin include indomethacin and ascorbic acid.
The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
This test may be done to diagnose liver or gallbladder problems.
Bilirubin is not normally found in the urine.
Increased levels of bilirubin in the urine may be due to:
There are no risks.
Bilirubin can break down in light. That is why babies with jaundice are sometimes placed under blue fluorescent lamps. See: Bili lights
Berk PD, Korenblat KM. Approach to the patient with jaundice or abnormal liver test results. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 150.
Lidofsky SD. Jaundice. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 20.