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J Hepatol. 1986;3(3):341-7.

Isomers of bilirubin glucuronide in serum and bile before and after relief of common duct obstruction.


Isomers of bilirubin glucuronide with the bilirubin acyl group attached to the C1-, C2-, C3- and C4-positions of the glucuronyl residue are present in bile of patients with extrahepatic cholestasis, whereas in normal bile only C1-isomers are found. In the present study, these bilirubin glucuronide isomers, and the fractions of unconjugated bilirubin, and bilirubin mono- and diconjugates were determined in serum and bile of 8 patients before and after relief of common duct obstruction by endoscopic papillotomy. Before papillotomy we found 39.6% C1-isomers (median value), 22.2% C2-isomers, 19.3% C3-isomers and 11.4% C4-isomers in the bile. The values in serum before papillotomy were comparable. Twenty-four hours after papillotomy, the level of C1-isomers in bile increased significantly to 56.3% (P less than 0.05) with a concomitant decrease of the non-C1-isomers. In contrast, in serum the isomers of bilirubin glucuronide did not change significantly at 24 h after papillotomy. Before papillotomy, the fraction of unconjugated bilirubin in bile was 3.6% of the total, with 15.8% bilirubin monoconjugates and 75.5% bilirubin disconjugates. After papillotomy, unconjugated bilirubin decreased to 1.6% (n.s.) and bilirubin monoconjugates to 11.9% (n.s.), while bilirubin diconjugates increased to 86.1% (P less than 0.05). In serum, the elevated fractions of bilirubin diconjugates and monoconjugates decreased from 38.4 to 32.2% (P less than 0.05) and from 29.6 to 23.4% (n.s.), respectively. In parallel, the fraction of unconjugated bilirubin in serum increased from 24.1 to 37.0% (P less than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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