The test for serum bile acids will detect liver changes before the formation of more advanced clinical signs of illness. This early sensitivity is very important to the practitioner because it allows for the possibility of treatment before extensive and irreversible damage is done.
Bile Acids are indicators of a liver function. However, the test will not provide a definitive diagnosis of the primary problem, merely an early confirmation that there is a hepatobiliary deficiency.
There are a large number of diseases that can compromise hepatobiliary function in a primary or secondary manner.
METHOD Colormetric, Enzymatic
The intensity of the colour produced by the action of 3a -hydroxsteroid dehydrogenase (3a -HSD) and diaphorase is directly proportional to the bile acids concentration in sample.
DIAGNOSTIC IMPLICATIONS Liver diseases that can elevate bile acid levels include hepatic neoplasia, portosystemic shunt, hepatitis, bile duct obstruction, canine adenovirus, slowed gastrointestinal transit and almost any condition that causes a defect in hepatic uptake or portal circulation. Test results that appear low are usually due to normal variation or prolonged fasting, but can also indicate intestinal malabsorption or increased gastric motility.
Normally, a small increase will be seen from the fasted to the post-prandial sample, however hepatobiliary disorders can cause elevated fasting and/or elevated post-prandial values.