What is the role of a fasting test in the workup of Gilbert syndrome?

Updated: May 21, 2019
  • Author: Hisham Nazer, MBBCh, FRCP, DTM&H; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Within 48 hours of the start of a fast, there is usually a 2- to 3-fold rise in the plasma unconjugated bilirubin level, which returns to normal levels within 24 hours after resumption of a normal diet. Although unconjugated bilirubin levels also rise with fasting in patients with hemolysis or liver disease, the magnitude of the rise is less than that observed with Gilbert syndrome. A similar rise in plasma bilirubin is also observed with normocaloric diets deficient in lipids and reverses promptly with lipid replacement.


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