Several studies are present in the literature about the efficacy of medical treatment with biliary acid, orally administered, on the symptomatic gallstone patients. Both this drugs act, with different mechanisms, on the same pathophysiological pathway, represented by the supersaturated bile in cholesterol. Aim of the present investigation was to study the possible modifications of serum bile acids pattern and of lipoproteins in a large sample of gallstone patients under long-term treatment with biliary acids. One hundred and twelve patients with radiolucent gallstones entered the study; 54 received chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) and 58 ursodeoxycholic (UDCA) at dosage of 15 mg/kg/daily. Blood samples for determination of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, lipoproteins, total and fractionated biliary acids were collected from each subjects every three months for a mean "follow-up" of 24 months. The levels of serum cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids showed a mild decrease only in the patients under therapy with CDCA, while no modifications were detected using UDCA. The same was found for two other parameters, HDL-cholesterol and lipoproteins, with both treatments during the overall period of follow-up. The biliary acids levels showed a significant increase only in the patients treated with CDCA, but no differences were found between "responders" and "non responders" to the therapy.
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