Bile Acids

Bile Acids

Species: Dog, cat, horse, birds

Specimen: Serum, heparinised plasma

Container: Red top tube, gel tube, heparin

Collection protocol:

  • Do not perform this test in an animal with increased bilirubin or in dogs with bilirubinuria – BA will be increased in these animals
  • Sample 1 or single pre-prandial should be a fasted sample, avoid haemolysis
  • Sample 2 obtain 2h after feeding a small amount of food to avoid sample lipaemia, taking care to avoid sample haemolysis

Note: Lipaemia causes a false increase in BA and haemolysis causes a false decrease in BA

Special handling/shipping requirements: Separating serum from the clot is ideal, but not always possible

General information about the disease: None

General information about when this test is indicated:

  • Used to assess liver function in cases where liver disease or failure, or portosystemic shunt are suspected
  • Most animals with either congenital or acquired portosystemic shunt will have marked increases in post-prandial bile acids
  • Pre-prandial values may be higher than post-prandial values in healthy animals, because of a recent meal, catching sight ore scent of food, or delayed gastric emptying
  • Horses do not have  a post-prandial increase in bile acids, but bile acids may be mildly increased in anorexic horses
  • In parrots with BA repeatedly in excess of 200 umol/L, liver biopsy is warranted

Comparison with other related tests: N/A