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Did the lab also include the direct and indirect bilirubin?
Or it may be labeled as conjugated an unconjugated bilirubin?
Were the remaining liver blood tests normal?
Since he did not comment upon other liver lab tests, it is most likely that they were normal.
The primary reason for mild elevation in bilirubin when other liver blood tests are normal is a condition called Gilbert syndrome. This is very common, occurring in about 5% of people and higher in certain ethnic groups, and is considered to be a normal variant. People with Gilbert syndrome metabolize bilirubin slightly different than the rest of the population and will cause a mild increase in bilirubin, primarily as unconjugated bilirubin. The unconjugated bilirubin is the form before it is metabolized by the liver. The bilirubin can increase slightly at different times, particularly in response to stress, but some of the changes in levels cannot be explained. However, even with periodic elevations, the bilirubin level typically will not get above 4.0. People with Gilbert syndrome may have mild non-specific abdominal symptoms, but there clearly is no risk for long-term liver dysfunction, and these people do well over time.
The primary reason for repeating the lab is the small chance that this may represent a condition that is going to get worse. Even if the repeat bilirubin remains mildly elevated, if the biliirubin is primarily unconjugated bilirubin and the remaining liver tests continue to be normal, this would not be a reason for concern.
If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.
Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance.
Very good. If the labs are similar when rechecked, that would be consistent with Gilbert syndrome, and there would be no reason for worry.