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J Hepatol. 1990 Sep;11(2):215-20.

Biliary excretion of different sized polyethylene glycols in the cat.

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Department of Surgery I, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.


Polyethylene glycol (PEG) 900 is excreted more extensively into bile than mannitol and erythritol. In this study, the biliary recovery of intravenously injected marker molecules was analysed in anaesthetised cats with ligated renal pedicles. It was demonstrated that among polyethylene glycols sized 292-1250 Da, the species sized 1074 Da was maximally excreted in the bile. After 5 h, about 12% of the injected amount of this molecular species was recovered in bile. Both larger and smaller polyethylene glycol molecules had a lower biliary excretion. The distribution of different sized PEGs in the range 766-1250 Da in serum was fairly constant and cannot explain the recovery profile in bile. 14C-Labelled mannitol was recovered in bile to the extent of 0.7% of the amount given i.v. after 5 h, a figure that corresponds to that obtained for polyethylene glycol with a size of 370 Da. Bile/plasma ratios during steady state conditions of labelled PEG 450, PEG 900, PEG 2500 and PEG 4000 were 10, 36, 3 and 4, respectively. The results may be tentatively explained by restricted passage of the larger PEG molecules into the canaliculi, and leakage of the smaller molecules from bile back to plasma.

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