AIM: To investigate the clinical presentations associated with bile acid synthesis defects and to describe identification of individual disorders and diagnostic pitfalls. METHODS: Authors describe semiquantitative determination of 16 urinary bile acid metabolites by electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry. Sample preparation was performed by solid-phase extraction. The total analysis time was 2 min per sample. Authors determined bile acid metabolites in 363 patients with suspected defects in bile acid metabolism. RESULTS: Abnormal bile acid metabolites were found in 36 patients. Two patients had bile acid synthesis defects but presented with atypical presentations. In 2 other patients who were later shown to be affected by biliary atresia and cystic fibrosis the profile of bile acid metabolites was initially suggestive of a bile acid synthesis defect. Three adult patients suffered from cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis. Nineteen patients had peroxisomal disorders, and 10 patients had cholestatic hepatopathy of other cause. CONCLUSION: Screening for urinary cholanoids should be done in every infant with cholestatic hepatopathy as well as in children with progressive neurological disease to provide specific therapy.
- Bile acid synthesis defects
- Biliary atresia
- Cholestatic liver disease
- Electrospray-ionization tandemmass-spectrometry
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