Background/purpose: Gastroschisis is the most frequent cause of pediatric intestinal transplantation. This study reviews our experience of intestinal transplantation secondary to gastroschisis to elucidate those factors affecting the outcome of children with short bowel syndrome.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed for children who underwent intestinal transplantation for gastroschisis at the University of Miami between June 2003 and August 1994.
Results: Thirty-two transplants were performed in 28 children with gastroschisis during the study period. Associated intestinal anomalies were present in 22 infants (atresia [n = 14], volvulus [n = 3], and/or ischemia [n = 16]). Spontaneous prenatal closure of gastroschisis, a rare anomaly associated with bowel atresia and ischemia because of a very small abdominal defect, was seen in 9 patients. Most of the patients had a complicated course and required multiple abdominal surgeries before transplant. Fifteen (53.6%) patients are currently alive at a median follow-up of 23.5 months. Short-term survival rate has significantly improved in recent years.
Conclusions: Patients with complex gastroschisis and intestinal anomalies have a significant risk for progression to short bowel syndrome. Intestinal transplantation can be a lifesaving option and provides a satisfactory outcome for children with short bowel syndrome secondary to gastroschisis.