Normal results for a bilirubin test are 0.2 to 1.2 millligram per deciliter (mg/dL) of total bilirubin (direct plus indirect). Results may be affected by certain foods, medications, or strenuous exercise. Elevated levels may indicate liver damage or disease. In an adult, a total bilirubin greater than 12 mg/dL and in a newborn a value greater than 15 mg/dL is considered a critical level.
Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and conjuntival membrances over the sclera caused by increased levels of bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia). Jaundice is often seen when the level of bilirubin in the blood exceeds 2.5-3 mg/dL.
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