Objective: Fat-soluble vitamin (FSV) deficiency is a well-recognized consequence of cholestatic liver disease and reduced intestinal intraluminal bile acid. We hypothesized that serum bile acid (SBA) would predict biochemical FSV deficiency better than serum total bilirubin (TB) level in infants with biliary atresia.
Methods: Infants enrolled in the Trial of Corticosteroid Therapy in Infants with Biliary Atresia after hepatoportoenterostomy were the subjects of this investigation. Infants received standardized FSV supplementation and monitoring of TB, SBA, and vitamin levels at 1, 3, and 6 months. A logistic regression model was used with the binary indicator variable insufficient/sufficient as the outcome variable. Linear and nonparametric correlations were made between specific vitamin measurement levels and either TB or SBA.
Results: The degree of correlation for any particular vitamin at a specific time point was higher with TB than with SBA (higher for TB in 31 circumstances vs 3 circumstances for SBA). Receiver operating characteristic curve shows that TB performed better than SBA (area under the curve 0.998 vs 0.821). Including both TB and SBA did not perform better than TB alone (area under the curve 0.998).
Conclusions: We found that TB was a better predictor of FSV deficiency than SBA in infants with biliary atresia. The role of SBA as a surrogate marker of FSV deficiency in other cholestatic liver diseases, such as progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis, α-1-antitrypsin deficiency, and Alagille syndrome in which the pathophysiology is dominated by intrahepatic cholestasis, warrants further study.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00294684.