Bile Acids (Salts) Blood Test
Test Code: 010330
Specimen Type: Blood
Bile Acids (Salts) Blood Test (Labcorp)
This test measures the level of Bile Acids in the blood. Bile acids are produced by the liver. They are stored in the gallbladder and secreted into the small intestine during digestion. Bile acid levels in the blood are normally very low because most of the bile acid released during digestion is reabsorbed by the intestines and the small amount is released into the blood is extracted by the liver. In people with liver disease, bile acids may show elevated levels because the liver's functioning is impaired. Measuring bile acids in the blood can help to identify liver disease earlier than other tests. In some cases, standard tests such as a Hepatic Function Panel may show normal levels until the liver disease has progressed further. Disorders such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, Wilson's Disease, and Hemochromatosis have all been shown to cause elevated blood bile acid levels.
A Bile Acid test can also aid in identifying Cholestasis, a liver disorder that sometimes develops in women during the later stages of pregnancy. The primary symptom of cholestasis is an intense itching sensation which typically begins in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet and may spread to other parts of the body. While it is uncomfortable for the mother, cholestasis does not usually cause long term health complications. However, it can cause serious complications for the pregnancy and may result in premature birth, birth defects, and even stillbirth.
Bile acid testing may be ordered when someone has early symptoms of liver disease, especially if other liver function tests do not show irregular results. It may be ordered for pregnant women along with a Liver function Test when they develop symptoms of cholestasis or have been diagnosed with cholestasis during previous pregnancies.
Turnaround for this test is typically 2-4 business days.
Where can I find a Bile Acids test near me?
Check our lab finder to locate a collection site in your area.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
Fasting for at least 8 hours is recommended.
Your doctor may recommend taking this test 2 hours after eating a meal.