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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb;40(2):171-5.

Benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis associated with mutations of the bile salt export pump.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectiology, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.


A young patient with recurrent attacks of intrahepatic cholestasis is described. On the basis of clinical presentation, laboratory findings and genetic analysis, the diagnosis of benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis type 2 (BRIC-2) was established. By the use of BSEP-specific antibodies, almost complete absence of BSEP from the canalicular membrane of liver cells was detected in the patient. Two different BSEP mutations were found. One mutation (E186G) had been described in one BRIC-2 case; the second mutation (V444A) is more frequent and has been linked to intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. It is concluded that this form of compound heterozygosity of the BSEP gene reduces the amount of BSEP protein due to protein instability or mis-targeting, which is the underlying reason for reduced bile salt excretion and cholemia.

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