Qualitative and quantitative profiles of unconjugated bile acids in the serum obtained over a 24-h period from three patients with ileal resections and one with a bacterial overgrowth are described. Unconjugated serum bile acids were determined using the high sensitivity and resolution of capillary column gas liquid chromatography after their rapid extraction and isolation using reverse phase octadecylsilane bonded silica cartridges and the lipophilic gel Lipidex 1000. Unconjugated serum bile acid concentrations were elevated throughout the day in both ileum resected patients and in conditions involving bacterial overgrowth when compared to healthy subjects. Total conjugated cholic acid concentrations were expectedly low in both intestinal disorders and were without the postprandial increases generally observed in healthy subjects. Qualitative gas chromatographic profiles of serum unconjugated bile acids in bacterial overgrowth distinctly revealed a predominance of deoxycholic acid and other secondary bile acids in all samples, while, in conditions of an impaired enterohepatic circulation, deoxycholic acid was absent or present in only trace amounts. The potential significance of measuring serum unconjugated bile acids in intestinal disorders is discussed.