Management of short bowel syndrome in infancy

Early Hum Dev. 2013 Nov;89(11):899-904. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2013.09.001. Epub 2013 Oct 11.


Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a reduction in functioning bowel length which is most often a result of surgical resection. Risk factors in the neonatal period include necrotising enterocolitis, small bowel atresia and gastroschisis. With increasing survival of preterm infants there is an increase in incidence. Management is dependent on the use of parenteral nutrition to maintain fluid and electrolyte homeostasis and promote growth and development with the longer term aim being to promote intestinal adaptation to achieve partial or complete enteral autonomy. In this review we discuss the incidence, aetiology, pathophysiology, medical and surgical treatments and outcome.

Keywords: Intestinal adaptation; Intestinal failure; Parenteral nutrition; Short bowel syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Parenteral Nutrition / methods*
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / etiology
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / therapy
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology