Long-term parenteral nutritional support and intestinal adaptation in children with short bowel syndrome: a 25-year experience

J Pediatr. 2004 Aug;145(2):157-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2004.02.030.


Objective: To analyze the outcome of children with short bowel syndrome (SBS) who required long-term parenteral nutrition (PN).

Study design: Retrospective analysis of children (n=78) with SBS who required PN >3 months from 1975 to 2000.

Statistics: univariate analysis, Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox proportional regression model were used.

Results: We identified 78 patients. Survival was better with small bowel length (SBL) >38 cm, intact ileocecal valve (ICV), intact colon, takedown surgery after ostomy (all P <.01), and primary anastomosis (P <.001). PN-associated early persistent cholestatic jaundice (P <.001) and SBL of <15 cm (P <.01) were associated with a higher mortality. Intestinal adaptation was less likely if SBL <15 cm (P <.05), ICV was removed, colonic resection was done (both P <.001), >50% of colon was resected (P <.05), and primary anastomosis could not be accomplished (P <.01). Survival was 73% (57), and 77% (44) of survivors had intestinal adaptation.

Conclusions: SBL, intact ICV, intestinal continuity, and preservation of the colon are important factors for survival and adaptation. Adaptation usually occurred within the first 3 years. Need for long-term PN does not preclude achieving productive adulthood. Patients with ICV even with <15 cm of SBL and patients with SBL >15 cm without ICV have a chance of intestinal adaptation.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Parenteral Nutrition*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / therapy*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors