Abdominal gamma-counting after oral administration of 23-selena-25-homocholyltaurine (75SeHCAT) was carried out on 23 healthy volunteers and 66 patients: 33 with distal ileum resections, 3 with Crohn's disease of the ileum, 17 suffering from various intestinal diseases but with normal ileum, and 13 with chronic diarrhea syndrome but without evident intestinal or extraintestinal pathology. The percentage value of 75SeHCAT abdominal retention was assessed by analysis of the activity versus time curve, obtained by single exponential least-squares fit in five consecutive measurements (time zero and 1, 3, 5, and 7 days after 75SeHCAT administration) and directly by the gamma-camera countings on days 3, 5, and 7. The percentage values obtained from the curve on the third day were found to be the most suitable for differentiating between the groups, giving the 75SeHCAT test a 94% sensitivity and a 100% specificity. Our data show that this test is a valid indicator of bile acid loss: actually, it gave evidence of idiopathic malabsorption of bile salts in 6 patients with diarrhea of unknown origin who responded to cholestyramine and showed a correlation (correlation index = 0.585) with the residual ileum of the last meter in resected patients. Moreover, the 75SeHCAT test is easy to perform in any hospital with gamma-counting facilities and has negligible radiation risk.