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Prolonged large bowel transit increases serum deoxycholic acid: a risk factor for octreotide induced gallstones

Abstract

BACKGROUND Treatment of acromegaly with octreotide increases the proportion of deoxycholic acid in, and the cholesterol saturation of, bile and induces the formation of gallstones. Prolongation of intestinal transit has been proposed as the mechanism for the increase in the proportion of deoxycholic acid in bile.

AIMS To study the effects of octreotide on intestinal transit in acromegalic patients during octreotide treatment, and to examine the relation between intestinal transit and bile acid composition in fasting serum.

METHODS Mouth to caecum and large bowel transit times, and the proportion of deoxycholic acid in fasting serum were measured in non-acromegalic controls, acromegalic patients untreated with octreotide, acromegalics on long term octreotide, and patients with simple constipation. Intestinal transit and the proportion of deoxycholic acid were compared in acromegalic patients before and during octreotide.

RESULTS Acromegalics untreated with octreotide had longer mouth to caecum and large bowel transit times than controls. Intestinal transit was further prolonged by chronic octreotide treatment. There were significant linear relations between large bowel transit time and the proportion of deoxycholic acid in the total, conjugated, and unconjugated fractions of fasting serum.

CONCLUSIONS These data support the hypothesis that, by prolonging large bowel transit, octreotide increases the proportion of deoxycholic acid in fasting serum (and, by implication, in bile) and thereby the risk of gallstone formation.

  • deoxycholic acid
  • octreotide
  • acromegaly
  • gallstones
  • large bowel transit time
  • mouth to caecum transit time
  • Abbreviations

    CA
    cholic acid
    CDCA
    chenodeoxycholic acid
    DCA
    deoxycholic acid
    IGF-1
    insulin-like growth factor 1
    LBTT
    large bowel transit time
    LCA
    lithocholic acid
    MCTT
    mouth to caecum transit time
    UDCA
    ursodeoxycholic acid
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