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J Lipid Res. 1983 Aug;24(8):1085-100.

General methods for the analysis of metabolic profiles of bile acids and related compounds in feces.


A general method is described for the detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis of bile acids and related compounds from feces. The technique utilizes a novel combination of liquid-gel and liquid-solid extraction, lipophilic ion exchange chromatography, and capillary column gas-liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, which permits the detailed composition of bile acids in feces in terms of both the individual bile acids present and their mode of conjugation in the original fecal sample. The extraction, purification, and isolation procedures have been evaluated using fecal samples containing endogenous radioactive bile acid metabolites and from the addition of radiolabeled standards to fecal homogenates. The applicability of the general procedure is illustrated with examples from the analysis of bile acids and sterols in the feces collected from normal healthy subjects, patients with chronic diarrhea, and an adult female Sprague-Dawley rat. The flexibility of the method, and the general problems encountered in the extraction, purification, and isolation of bile acids and related classes of compounds from feces for subsequent analysis of gas-liquid chromatography are discussed in detail.

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