Removal of bile acids by extracorporeal therapies: an in vitro study


ABSTRACT Introduction

Bile acids (BAs) accumulating in the circulation in patients with liver failure are considered to be responsible for pruritus, which strongly impairs quality of life of the affected patients. The aim of this study was the in vitro characterization of different BAs regarding their removability with high-flux dialysis as well as with different adsorbents, and the evaluation of their binding to plasma proteins.


Dialysis experiments were conducted in pediatric circuits with human plasma. For the adsorption studies, batch tests using 10% adsorbent in spiked human plasma were carried out. The binding of BAs to plasma compounds was determined by centrifugation of spiked plasma through spin columns. Sieving coefficients were determined using an albumin filter and a high-flux dialyzer.


With high-flux dialysis, only hydrophilic BAs such as glycocholic and taurocholic acid could be removed efficiently, while all tested BAs were removed by adsorption.


In conclusion, the hydrophilicity of BAs plays a major role in their removability using extracorporeal approaches. Adsorption-based systems offer particular advantages for the removal of hydrophobic BAs.

Post author correction




Jens Hartmann, Stephan Harm

Article History


Financial support: This work was funded by the government of Lower Austria (Project ID WST3-T-91/036-2014).
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has financial interest related to this study to disclose.

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  • Center for Biomedical Technology, Danube University Krems, Krems - Austria

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