Fecal and biliary bile acid composition after partial ileal bypass operation

Digestion. 1988;39(1):52-60. doi: 10.1159/000199608.


Biliary and fecal bile acid composition was studied in 13 patients 3-12 years after a partial ileal bypass operation and in 10 unoperated controls, all with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. Three operated patients were taking cholestyramine. The relative amount of cholic acid in the bile was decreased at the expense of chenodeoxycholic acid in the operated subjects. Chenodeoxycholic acid content of the bile correlated negatively with the fractional cholesterol absorption, suggesting that in compromised absorption chenodeoxycholic acid is absorbed more efficiently than cholic acid. Despite a ninefold increase in total bile acid synthesis the cholic/chenodeoxycholic acid synthesis ratio was not significantly different in the operated and control subjects. However, the lower the chenodeoxycholic acid synthesis the higher was the proportion of deoxycholic acid in the bile and feces, suggesting regulation of chenodeoxycholic acid synthesis by deoxycholic acid. Ileal exclusion had increased the proportion of primary bile acids in the feces from below 10 to over 50%. Despite increased fecal water excretion the concentration of fecal total and dihydroxy bile acids was higher in the operated than in control subjects. However, the fecal concentration of the potentially cancer-promoting bile acids, deoxycholic acid and lithocholic acid, was not increased in the operated subjects. In the operated subjects, fecal water output was positively correlated with total bile acid and chenodeoxycholic acid synthesis. It is concluded that the severe bile acid malabsorption caused by ileal exclusion activates the synthesis of both primary bile acids in similar amount. However, after ileal exclusion the relative amount of cholic acid in the bile is decreased, obviously because loss of ileal absorption predominantly affects the absorption of cholic acid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bile / analysis*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / analysis*
  • Chenodeoxycholic Acid / analysis
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Cholic Acids / analysis
  • Feces / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II / metabolism
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II / surgery
  • Ileum / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Cholic Acids
  • Chenodeoxycholic Acid
  • Cholesterol