What is the role of bile salt retention in the pathophysiology of cholestasis?

Updated: Aug 09, 2017
  • Author: Hisham Nazer, MBBCh, FRCP, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Answer

Retention of bile salts results in injury to biological membranes throughout the body. The liver is most affected. The retention of hydrophobic bile salts results in their incorporation into membranes, which alters membrane fluidity and function. Bile salt injury of hepatocyte membranes is an important amplifier of cholestasis. The retention of secondary cholestatic bile acids, such as lithocholic acid, results in further membrane injury.


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