Bile acid pattern in human amniotic fluid

European Journal of Clinical Investigation
G DélèzeD Sidiropoulos


Individual bile acids were determined in twenty-nine amniotic fluid specimens obtained from twenty-six women between the 32nd and 41st week of gestation. Total bile acid concentration ranged from 0.4 to 4.8 mumol/l with a mean of 1.57 mumol/l. Besides the two major bile acids of man, cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid, 3beta-hydroxy-5-cholenoic acid was found in all, lithocholic acid in ten and deoxycholic acid in nine of the twenty-nine amniotic fluid samples. 3beta-Hydroxy-5-cholenoic acid averaged 39.8% of total bile acids during 32-37 weeks of gestation and 20.2% at term (P less than 0.01). These findings point towards important differences between fetal and adult bile metabolism and may reflect maturation of hepatic bile acid biosynthesis near term.


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