Papers And Originals

Serum Lipids in Cholelithiasis: Effect of Chenodeoxycholic Acid Therapy

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: (Published 08 September 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:520
  1. G. D. Bell,
  2. B. Lewis,
  3. A. Petrie,
  4. R. Hermon Dowling


    Hypercholesterolaemia has been predicted as a possible complication of chenodeoxycholic acid treatment for gall stones. To exclude this, fasting serum lipids were measured in patients with stones before and at monthly intervals for six months after starting chenodeoxycholic acid. Before treatment half of a group of 36 patients with presumed cholesterol gall stones had serum cholesterol levels exceeding 260 mg/100 ml or serum triglyceride values greater than 160 mg/100 ml or both; these lipid levels were significantly greater than those in control subjects matched for age and sex. Treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid (0·5-1·5 g/day by mouth) did not change serum cholesterol levels but did significantly reduce serum triglyceride concentrations from a pretreatment level of 118 (± S.E. of mean 11·7) mg/100 ml to 95 (± 7·2) mg/100 ml after six months of therapy. The mechanism of this triglyceride-lowering action of chenodeoxycholic acid is not known, but it may have therapeutic value in patients with hypertriglyceridaemia.