Am J Gastroenterol. 2020 Dec;115(12):1974-1975. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000962.
Bile acid diarrhea is a frequent, treatable cause of functional diarrhea but is difficult to diagnose when the nuclear medicine seleno-taurohomocholic acid test is unavailable. An alternative approach is testing blood for the bile acid precursor, 7α-OH-4-cholesten-3-one, which is raised with increased bile acid synthesis. A recent article has defined measurements that have high negative and positive predictive values, further exploring how they can be improved by incorporating measures such as age, stool number, fibroblast growth factor 19, or plasma sulfated bile acids. Other articles have looked at the percentage of fecal primary bile acids. Together, they promise better use of diagnostic biomarkers for this condition.