Absence of bile acid malabsorption as a late effect of pelvic irradiation

James J. Schuster, John A. Stryker, Laurence M. Demers, Rodrigue Mortel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The pathophysiology of chronic radiation-induced diarrhea was evaluated in 28 patients who had undergone pelvic irradiation for gynecologic neoplasms 2 to 7 years previously. Twenty-seven patients undergoing radiotherapy with techniques that did not require abdominal or pelvic irradiation served as controls. The glycine conjugates of cholic acid (GC) were measured in serum by radioimmunoassay. Fasting and 2 hr. pp GC levels for the pelvic irradiated patients were 11.0 ± 11.1 (mean ± SD) and 24.8 ± 17.3 μg/dl. Fasting and 2 hr. pp GC levels for controls were 12.6 ± 7.4 and 28.0 ± 14.7. There were no significant differences in the post-prandial increases in serum GC between pelvic irradiated patients and controls (p = .23, Type II error probability = .13). There was also no significant difference in the 2 hr. pp and fasting GC ratio (p = .39). There was a significant difference between the stool frequency (p < .01) and the prevalence of diarrhea (p < .02) between pelvic irradiated patients and controls. The data suggest that bile acid malabsorption due to ileal dysfunction is not an inevitable late complication of pelvic irradiation and is not the major determinant in the pathophysiology of chronic radiation-induced diarrhea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1610
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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