Small bowel transplantation as a treatment option for intestinal failure in children and adults
Dijkstra G., Rings EHHM., Van Dullemen HM., Bijleveld CMA., Meessen NEL., Karrenbeld A., Hofker HS., Porte RJ., Naber AHJ., Ploeg RJ.
- Small bowel transplantation for intestinal failure is no longer an experimental procedure, butan accepted treatment for patients where total parenteral nutrition (TPN) therapy for intestinal failure is unsuccessful. - Early referral for screening for small bowel transplantation should be considered in patients with permanent intestinal failure who have occlusion of more than 2 major veins, frequent line-related septic episodes, impairment of liver function or an unacceptable quality of life. - With the increased experience in post-transplant patient care and newer forms of induction (thymoglobulin, IL-2 receptor antagonists) and maintenance (tacrolimus) therapies, the 1-year graft survival has increased to 65% for isolated and to 59% for liver/small bowel transplantation and is further improving. - Rejection, bacterial, fungal and viral (Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr-virus) infections, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease and graft versus host disease are the most common complications after intestinal transplantation. - Although most of the long-term survivors are TPN-independent and have a good quality of life, the risk of the procedure and long-term adverse effects of immunosuppressive medication limits small bowel, or liver/small bowel transplantation only to patients with severe complications of TPN therapy.