The effect of ursodeoxycholic acid ingestion on biliary bile acids and biliary lipids was studied in six patients after ileal resection. All patients had bile acid malabsorption, as documented by increased breath and fecal excretion of14C after oral administration of [1-14C] cholylglycine. Fasting duodenal bile was collected by intubation before and seven days after ursodeoxycholic acid administration (4 g/day), and biliary bile acid and lipid composition were determined. Ursodeoxycholic acid ingestion increased the percentage of ursodeoxycholic acid in bile tenfold (3.6±2.6% vs 38.6±12.0%) and decreased chenodeoxycholic acid in bile by approximately 40%. Before ursodeoxycholic acid ingestion, bile was supersaturated in all patients. After ursodeoxycholic acid ingestion, cholesterol saturation decreased in all six patients by an average of 43%, and bile became unsaturated in five. Ursodeoxycholic acid ingestion had no effect on stool frequency. We conclude that, as in subjects with an intact enterohepatic circulation, ursodeoxycholic acid therapy has litholytic potential in patients after ileal resection.
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