The purpose of this study was to determine whether a resin capable of removing bile acids from the enterohepatic circulation by forming a nonabsorbable complex with them in the gut lumen would be effective in lowering the serum bile acid concentration and relieving the pruritus. The resin was fed to 4 jaundiced patients with high serum bile acid concentrations and intense pruritus. In each patient the serum bile acid concentrations were lowered and pruritus was relieved. In 2 of these patients, withholding the resin was associated with a prompt rise in serum bile acids and return of pruritus; refeeding the resin again lowered serum bile acids and relieved pruritus. It was thus observed that correction of the hyperbileacidemia of pruritic jaundice by resin feeding is associated with relief of the pruritus.
Carey JB, Williams G. Relief of the Pruritus of Jaundice with a Bile-Acid Sequestering Resin. JAMA. 1961;176(5):432-435. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040180034008