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Gastroenterology. 1993 Jan;104(1):145-51.

Increased serum deoxycholic acid levels in men with colorectal adenomas.

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Medical Department II, University of Munich, Germany.



Epidemiological and animal studies have suggested that the secondary bile acid deoxycholic acid is cocarcinogenic in colorectal cancer, but this hypothesis was not confirmed by case-control studies investigating fecal bile acids.


Individual serum bile acid concentrations were investigated in 25 men and 25 women with colorectal adenomas and in an equal number of age- and sex-matched controls by gas-liquid chromatography.


Deoxycholic acid levels were significantly higher in the sera of men with colorectal adenomas (1.70 +/- 0.59 vs. 1.16 +/- 0.39 mumol/L, P < 0.0005) and in a combined analysis of both sexes (1.47 +/- 0.78 vs. 1.08 +/- 0.39 mumol/L, P < 0.0025). Six- and 12-month follow-up measurements of deoxycholic acid concentrations in a subgroup of 22 men and 17 women showed higher serum levels in men with adenomas, indicating that measurement of deoxycholic acid concentration may be a reliable parameter to investigate its pathogenetic role in colonic neoplasia.


The data of this study support the hypothesis that deoxycholic acid may play a role in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer.

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