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Serum bile acids and ursodeoxycholic acid treatment in cystic fibrosis-related liver disease



Serum bile acids and ursodeoxycholic acid treatment in cystic fibrosis-related liver disease



European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 8(5): 477-483



Increased circulating levels of hepatotoxic bile acids may contribute to the cholestasis characteristic of cystic fibrosis-related liver disease. The aims of this study were to compare serum bile acid profiles in patients with cystic fibrosis with and without liver disease, and to evaluate the effect of treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid, a non-hepatotoxic bile acid, on liver biochemistry and serum bile acids in patients with cystic fibrosis-related liver disease. Fasting and postprandial serum bile acid levels were analysed in 15 patients (nine males; median age 18 years) with cystic fibrosis-related liver disease and compared with serum bile acid levels in 18 cystic fibrosis patients (12 males; median age 22 years) without liver disease and 10 control subjects. Fasting and postprandial serum levels of primary and secondary serum bile acids were analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Liver biochemistry and serum bile acids were measured in six cystic fibrosis patients with liver disease before and 6 months after treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid 20 mg/kg/day and compared with six control patients with cystic fibrosis-related liver disease. Total fasting and postprandial serum bile acid levels were significantly (P < 0.01) elevated in patients with liver disease compared to those without liver disease and controls. The fasting glycine conjugates of cholic acid, chenodeoxycholic acid and deoxycholic acid, and the fasting and postprandial taurine conjugates of cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated in liver disease patients compared to patients without liver disease and controls. After 6 months' treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid, although the serum was significantly saturated with ursodeoxycholic acid and significant improvements in liver biochemistry were observed in the treatment group, there was no significant reduction in the levels of individual serum bile acids. Although circulating levels of potentially hepatotoxic serum bile acids are elevated in patients with cystic fibrosis-related liver disease, improvements in liver biochemistry associated with ursodeoxycholic acid treatment cannot be attributed solely to alterations in levels of endogenous bile acids.

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Accession: 047345675

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PMID: 8804877


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