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Background. Biliary calcium is known to play an important role in the pathogenesis of gallstones. Calcium salts are present in all pigment gallstones and are also present in the core of most, if not all, cholesterol gallstones.
Methods. The effects of acute hypercalcemia on bile flow and biliary calcium secretion were examined in 22 prairie dogs during intravenous taurocholate infusion (0, 1.0, 2.25, and 4.5 μmol/kg/min).
Results. Bile flow was linearly correlated with bile acid output in both control (y=7.62x+13.5, r=0.98) and hypercalcemic (y=7.00x+10.4, r=0.96) animals At lower bile acid outputs (<3.0 μmol/kg/min), biliary, ionized calcium output per increment bile acid output was significantly increased in hypercalcemic animals (0.016 versus 0.011 μmol Ca++ μmol taurocholate, p<0.001). Bile ionized calcium concentrations approximated, Gibbs-Donnan predicted values only at low bile flow rate.
Conclusions. Hypercalcemia decreases bile flow and increases biliary ionized calcium concentration in the prairie dog. These effects favor the precipitation of calcium salts in bile.
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Accepted: September 2, 1994
†Supported in part by national Institutes of Health grant R-29-DK 41889. Presented in part at the 91 st Annual. Meeting of the American Gastroenterological Association, San Antonio, Texas 1990.
© 1995 Mosby-Year Book, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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