Laboratory Services

Bile Acids, Total, Serum

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Updated Test Information:

Test Description
Bile Acids, Total, Serum

Bile Acids, Total; Bile Salts, Total

Test ID
General Information

Useful for:

  • An aid in the evaluation of liver function

  • Evaluation of liver function changes before the formation of more advanced clinical signs of illness such as icterus

  • Determination of hepatic dysfunction as a result of chemical and environmental injury

  • Indicator of hepatic histological improvement in chronic hepatitis C patients responding to interferon treatment

  • Indicator for intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

  • For evaluation of bowel dysfunction, order BA48F / Bile Acids, Bowel Dysfunction, 48 Hour, Feces

  • For evaluation of patients treated with urso or cholate, order BAFS / Bile Acids, Fractionated and Total, Serum

  • For evaluation of inborn errors of metabolism, order BAIPD / Bile Acids for Peroxisomal Disorders, Serum

Specimen Type


Specimen Requirements

  • Preferred: Serum Gel

  • Acceptable: Red Top

Specimen Collection / Processing Instructions

  • 12-hour minimum fasting is required

  • Serum gel tubes should be centrifuged within 2 hours of collection

  • Red-top tubes should be centrifuged and aliquoted within 2 hours of collection.

Minimum Sample Volume

0.25 mL


  • Refrigerated (preferred): 7 days

  • Frozen: 30 days

  • Ambient: 24 hours

Unacceptable Specimen Conditions

  • Gross hemolysis

  • Gross icterus


  • Serum total bile acids testing is generally not suitable for differentiation among the various types of liver diseases

  • Total bile acids concentration is increased after meals; samples should be collected under fasting conditions.



Estimated TAT

1-2 days

Testing Schedule



7 days

CPT Code(s)


Reference Range

Fasting: ≤ 10 mcmol/L

Performing Lab


LOINC Code(s)


Additional Information