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A 67-year-old Japanese man underwent enterotomy because of enterolith ileus. Component analysis by infrared spectroscopy revealed that the enterolith was composed of a high concentration of deoxycholic acid. We further analyzed and compared the ultrastructure of the enterolith and a commercially available powdered form of deoxycholic acid by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis revealed that the ratios of carbon and oxygen in the enterolith were equal to those in the deoxycholic acid powder. Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed rectangular prism-shaped particles on the surface of the enterolith. This structure was similar to that of the deoxycholic acid powder. The surgically removed enterolith had a twisted and coiled appearance. Possible mechanisms underlying the formation of this unique form are discussed.
scanning electron microscopy
energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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