Absence of glycochenodeoxycholic acid (GCDCA) in human bile is an indication of cholestasis: A 1H MRS study

Omkar B. Ijare, Tedros Bezabeh, Nils Albiin, Urban Arnelo, Annika Bergquist, Bo Lindberg, Ian C.P. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The utility of 1H MR spectroscopy in detecting chronic cholestasis has been investigated. The amide proton region of the 1H MR spectrum of human bile plays a major role in differentiating cholestatic (Ch) patterns from the normal ones. Bile obtained from normal bile ducts contains both taurine and glycine conjugates of bile acids - cholic acid (CA), chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA), and deoxycholic acid (DCA). Absence of a glycine-conjugated bile acid glycochenodeoxycholic acid (GCDCA) has been observed in bile samples obtained from primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) patients. A total of 32 patients with various hepatobiliary diseases were included in the study. Twenty-one patients had PSC and 11 had normal cholangiograms. One PSC patient was excluded from the study because of a bad spectrum. Seventeen out of the 20 PSC patients showed an absence of GCDCA in their 1H MR spectrum of bile. Six of the 11 reference patients with normal cholangiogram also showed spectra similar to those of PSC, indicating the possibility of cholestasis. DQF-COSY and TOCSY experiments performed on bile samples from PSC patients also revealed absence of phosphatidylcholine (PC) in some of the bile samples, suggesting possible damage to the cholangiocytes by the toxic bile. These observations suggest that analysis of human bile by 1H MRS could be of value in the diagnosis of chronic Ch liver disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-479
Number of pages9
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Bile acids
  • Cholangiogram
  • Cholestasis
  • Glycochenodeoxycholic acid
  • Glycodeoxycholic acid
  • Human bile
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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