Proximal intestinal bile acids have been studied in 14 ambulatory patients with varying degrees of azotaemia. When compared with normal subjects, the azotaemic patients showed a significant decrease in deoxycholic acid. Analysis of faecal bile acids of a patient with low intestinal deoxycholic acid also showed low deoxycholic acid with a preponderance of primary bile acids, and contrast with faecal bile acids of a normal subject and a patient with normal intestinal deoxycholic acid. It is suggested that impairment of deconjugation or 7alpha-dehydroxylation might be contributing to the low deoxycholic acid observed in azotaemic patients. Unusual bile acids: ursodeoxycholic acid, 3-hydroxy-7-keto-cholanic acid, and 3,12-dihydroxy-7-keto-cholanic acid were also noted in intestinal aspirates of azotaemic patients. The presence of these bile acids in conjunction with low deoxycholic acid correlates with the symptom of diarrhoea in azotaemic patients, and may contribute to the pathogenesis of diarrhoea in these patients.
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