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Bilirubin (routine urine test)

Bilirubin is formed by the breakdown of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The liver is responsible for eliminating bilirubin by first converting it into “conjugated” bilirubin, which is then eliminated in the intestines through the gallbladder and bile ducts (passages that connect the gallbladder to the intestines). The bilirubin found in urine is conjugated bilirubin. This bilirubin has therefore gone into the liver but has been “pushed back” out of the liver before it could reach the intestine through the gallbladder. Increased quantities of bilirubin in the urine can be caused by a number of liver conditions leading to partial or total blockage of the biliary tract (viral hepatitis, toxic hepatitis, bile duct fibrosis, obstruction of the gallbladder by gallstones or obstruction of the bile ducts by a tumour, etc.).

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.