Collaborative strategies to reduce mortality and morbidity in patients with chronic intestinal failure including those who are referred for small bowel transplantation

Transplantation. 2008 May 27;85(10):1378-84. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e31816dd513.


Intestinal transplant wait-list mortality is higher than for other organ transplants. The objective of this workshop was to identify the main problems contributing to high mortality in adults and children candidates for intestinal transplantation and provide recommendations on how to correct them.

Outcome: To facilitate this, 63 relevant articles identified from the medical literature from 1987 to 2007 were reviewed. Consensus was achieved on several important definitions relevant to this review. For children and adults on parenteral nutrition (PN) the main mortality risk factors were identified as were the main risks of mortality for those on the waiting list for intestinal transplants.

Recommendations: (1) Primary care givers managing intestinal failure patients should establish a link with an intestinal failure programs early and collaboration with intestinal failure programs should be initiated for patients whose PN requirements are anticipated to be more than 50% 3 months after initiating PN; (2) intestinal failure programs should include both intestinal rehabilitation and intestinal transplantation or have active collaborative relationships with centers performing intestinal transplantation; (3) National registries for intestinal failure patients should be established and organizations that provide home PN solutions should be expected to participate.

Conclusion: There are many unresolved issues in adults and children with PN dependent intestinal failure. To address these, a key recommendation of this group is to establish national intestinal failure databases that can support multicenter studies and lead to the adoption of universally accepted standards of patient care with the goal of improving outcomes in all long-term intestinal failure patients including those requiring intestinal transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / transplantation*
  • Morbidity
  • Multiple Organ Failure / surgery*
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Organ Transplantation / mortality*
  • Parenteral Nutrition / adverse effects
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Waiting Lists