Blood test interpretions

I had posted this several years ago, and thought it might be helpful to post it again.

It helps to explain what your lab work means, and is geared to pscers:

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Thanks for sharing this again Jeff. I remember this when you posted before. A very useful document for understanding labs.


Thanks for sharing Jeff. It’s good to know what all these blood tests mean. I always read them every time, but never really know what they mean.
I’ve been so fortunate with PSC thus far (30+ years), but feel like I’m living on borrowed time. I’m trying to learn all I can. I have a really good hep doc and get all the necessary tests, etc. I’ve done my research and know what to expect, but it’s so technical that the tests are so hard to understand some times.
I find this site very helpful.
Thanks again!:blush:

Interesting read Jeff. For those transplanted already is a 4.2 bilirubin “impressive” to doctors or will it likely go waaay higher?

I know this is a vague, complicated question, but generally whenever I meet w transplant board they say well you have this that and the other but at the end of the day your bilirubin is only X. Today its 4.2 - impressive or not yet.



I know for me, my hepatologist could tell I was starting to fail even though my MELD was only 12. I had muscle wasting starting, my color was getting deeper and deeper orange, finally at the end just really gray almost, like death warmed over. So it’s not just your MELD or bilirubin but your overall health picture at the time. Your hepatologist will have to present your case to the transplant committee and convince them you need to be listed.

  • I was listed for transplant with a bilirubin of 4.6 and MELD 12
  • I was transplanted with a bilirubin of 10.4 and MELD 36
  • This change from MELD 12 to MELD 36 happened over a 7 month period.

Hope this helps,


Appreciate your reply Mark. I’m sure we can all relate to the frustration that it seems so subjective. Currently 4.2 bilirubin w a Meld of 15, would be higher but for some reason my INR came down 40% since my last blood work.


That is life with psc-a roller coaster.

When my bilirubin got higher than a 2, my itching would increase. By the time it hit 5.5, it was time for an ERCP to remove a blocked bile duct.

I can’t imagine what it would do to me for that level to be a 10.4.

When you do get there (I do hope not), you will find actually it’s not that bad. My normal bilirubin is about 3, so lots of itching. It elevated over 10 once a while. But when it does, the itching is gone, surprise!