Intestine and multivisceral transplantation: current status and future directions

Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2015 Jan;17(1):427. doi: 10.1007/s11894-014-0427-8.


Intestinal failure and associated parenteral nutrition-induced liver failure cause significant morbidity, mortality, and health care burden. Intestine transplantation is now considered to be the standard of care in patients with intestinal failure who fail intestinal rehabilitation. Intestinal failure-associated liver disease is an important sequela of intestinal failure, caused by parenteral lipids, requiring simultaneous liver-intestine transplant. Lipid minimization and, in recent years, the emergence of fish oil-based lipid emulsions have been shown to reverse parenteral nutrition-associated hyperbilirubinemia, but not fibrosis. Significant progress in surgical techniques and immunosuppression has led to improved outcomes after intestine transplantation. Intestine in varying combination with liver, stomach, and pancreas, also referred to as multivisceral transplantation, is performed for patients with intestinal failure along with liver disease, surgical abdominal catastrophes, neuroendocrine and slow-growing tumors, and complete portomesenteric thrombosis with cirrhosis of the liver. Although acute and chronic rejection are major problems, long-term survivors have excellent quality of life and remain free of parenteral nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Intestinal Diseases / complications
  • Intestinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Intestines / transplantation*
  • Liver Failure / complications
  • Liver Failure / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Pancreas Transplantation*
  • Postoperative Care
  • Stomach / transplantation*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents