Alternative approach to diagnose a common cause of chronic diarrhea
Patient-centered testing to identify bile acid malabsorption
Chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain can be caused by many conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, infectious GI pathogens, and malignancy. When other causes of chronic diarrhea have been excluded, a diagnosis of IBS-diarrhea (IBS-D) should be considered.
One main cause of IBS-D is bile acid malabsorption (BAM), which occurs when an individual is unable to reabsorb bile acids released into the small intestine during digestion or when the liver synthesizes excessive amounts of bile acids. Identifying patients affected by BAM is traditionally done by measuring total and fractionated bile acids in stool through timed fecal collection. Accurate diagnosis of bile acid diarrhea prior to treatment initiation can support improved clinical outcomes.1
Developed with patients in mind, our robust bile acid malabsorption testing options facilitate precision diagnosis by enabling providers to select the best assessment for their patients’ needs. Our testing includes:
Diagnose with confidence
The clearest understanding of whether bile acid malabsorption is the cause of chronic diarrhea in a patient is achieved through 48-hour fecal bile acid testing, which quantifies the total bile acid in stool.
Simplified, patient-focused testing
For patients who cannot tolerate the necessary preparation and collection process for fecal bile acid testing, we offer a less-invasive combination test that links fasting 7AC4 serum testing with a random, or spot stool collection. Exclusively available at Mayo Clinic Laboratories, the bile acid malabsorption panel offers an ideal collection scenario by enabling fasting serum collection during the patient’s medical visit with either at-home or in-clinic spot stool collection that is returned to the laboratory.
Less-invasive test provides actionable results
Because the loss of bile acids in the stool of individuals affected by BAM leads to upregulation of bile acid synthesis in the liver, serum concentrations of 7AC4 will become elevated. Measuring serum 7AC4 concentration can be used as a screening test when stool testing is not possible.3-5
Testing Options for Patients with Chronic Diarrhea: A Focus on Bile Acid Malabsorption
This "Specialty Testing" webinar describes a new serum test for bile acid malabsorption. Descriptions illustrate how the test can be used as a screening test and as a tool for therapeutic action.