Author(s): Rodrigues CM, Marn JJ, Brites D, Rodrigues CM, Marn JJ, Brites D
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Data on meconium bile acid composition in newborn babies of patients with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) are relatively scant, and changes that occur on ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) administration have not been evaluated. AIMS: To investigate bile acid profiles in meconium of neonates from untreated and UDCA treated patients with ICP. Maternal serum bile acid composition was also analysed both at diagnosis and delivery to determine whether this influences the concentration and proportion of bile acids in the meconium. PATIENTS/METHODS: The population included eight healthy pregnant women and 16 patients with ICP, nine of which received UDCA (12.5-15.0 mg/kg body weight/day) for 15+/-4 days until parturition. Bile acids were assessed in the meconium by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and in maternal serum by high performance liquid chromatography. RESULTS: Total bile acid and cholic acid concentrations in the meconium were increased (p<0.01) in newborns from patients with ICP (13.5 (5.1) and 8.4 (4.1) micromol/g respectively; mean (SEM)) as compared with controls (2.0 (0.5) and 0.8 (0.3) micromol/g respectively), reflecting the total bile acid and cholic acid levels in the maternal serum (r = 0.85 and r = 0.84, p<0.01). After UDCA administration, total bile acid concentrations decreased in the mother ( approximately 3-fold, p<0. 05) but not in the meconium. UDCA concentration in the meconium showed only a 2-fold increase after treatment, despite the much greater increase in the maternal serum (p<0.01). Lithocholic acid concentration in the meconium was not increased by UDCA treatment. CONCLUSIONS: UDCA administration does not influence the concentration and proportion of bile acids in the meconium, which in turn are altered by ICP. Moreover, this beneficial treatment for the mother does not increase meconium levels of potentially toxic metabolites of UDCA such as lithocholic acid.
This article was published in Gut
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research