To determine the clinical significance of serum bile acid measurements, changes in the serum bile acid composition in liver diseases and endogenous bile acid clearance due to test meal loads were investigated. In the case of changes in the serum bile acid composition, a characteristic pattern of a remarkable increase of chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) was found in fulminant hepatitis. In patients with acute hepatitis, increases in CDCA were somewhat greater than those of cholic acid (CA) and there was tendency for these changes to precede changes in other liver function tests. In cases of extrahepatic obstructive jaundice, the CA/CDCA ratio was a large value exceeding 1.0. In investigations of endogenous bile acid clearance, serum bile acid concentration two hours after the test meal load clearly reflected the hepatic disorder and it was useful in differentiating between active and inactive form in chronic hepatitis and compensation and decompensation in liver cirrhosis.
serum bile acids endogenous bile acid clearance liver function test
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