Bilirubin was first discovered by Rudolf Virchow in 1847 by the name haematoidin. It is a brownish yellow compound found in the bile and is produced when the liver breaks down red blood cells. This bilirubin is later eliminated from the body via stool and this is what gives stool its normal color. This particular catabolism is a necessary procedure in the body’s consent of excreting waste products which gather from the demolition of old red blood cells. Initially, the hemoglobin gets denudated of its heme molecule which later goes through several processes of porphyrin catabolism, solely contingent on the specific part of the body in which the breakdown takes place. For instance, the molecules egested in the urine alter from those present in the feces. The fabrication of biliverdin from heme is the prime step in the catabolic pathway, post which the enyme biliverdin reductase executes the secondary stage, producing bilirubin from biliverdin.
Bilirubin is eliminated in bile and urine and escalated levels might indicate a few diseases. It is accountable for the yellow color of bruises and the yellow discoloration in case of jaundice. Bilirubin’s consequent breakdown product, for example, stercobilin is what causes the brown color of feces. Also, a different breakdown component, urobilin is the main cause urine getting straw-colored.
A study done on bilirubin market states that, this component circulates in the bloodstream in two forms:
Direct (or conjugated) bilirubin – Direct bilirubin is soluble in water and is produced by the liver from indirect bilirubin.
Indirect (or unconjugated) bilirubin – this variant of bilirubin is not soluble in water. Also, indirect bilirubin channels through the bloodstream to the liver, where it is altered into a soluble one (conjugated or direct).
The bilirubin test is done to…
…check functioning of liver and look for probable signs of liver disease, like cirrhosis, hepatitis, or any side effects of medicines that can hamper the liver.
…diagnose conditions which lead to raised demolition of red blood cells, such as hemolytic disease of the newborn or hemolytic anemia.
…determine if the bile ducts are getting blocked due to some reason. This might happen if pancreatic tumors or gallstones are present.
…make decision pertaining to newborn babies who suffer from neonatal jaundice and if they require treatment.