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BACKGROUND: In 1996 two transplantation centres in the UK were commissioned by the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory Group for England and Wales to assess small intestinal transplantation in adults. The joint experience of the two centres is presented. METHODS: Patients with irreversible small intestinal failure and complications of parenteral nutrition, and those with abdominal disease requiring extensive visceral resection, were assessed as candidates and where appropriate listed for surgery. RESULTS: Thirty-six patients were assessed for small intestinal transplantation and, of these, 14 underwent surgery. Twelve patients survived the transplantation procedure. Of these, seven patients were alive at 1 year, five at 3 years and three at 5 years. Three patients remain alive. Patient and graft survival improved with experience; the 1-year survival rate improved in the last 4 years of this experience from 43 to 57 per cent, and the 3-year survival rate from 29 to 43 per cent. CONCLUSION: Small intestinal transplantation is associated with a high mortality rate but may benefit carefully selected patients in whom conservative management is likely to carry a greater mortality rate.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Surg

Publication Date





723 - 727


Adult, England, Follow-Up Studies, Graft Survival, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Intestinal Diseases, Intestine, Small, Parenteral Nutrition, Survival Analysis, Tacrolimus, Treatment Outcome, Wales