Management and Complications of Short Bowel Syndrome: an Updated Review

Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2016 Jul;18(7):40. doi: 10.1007/s11894-016-0511-3.


Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is defined as loss of bowel mass from surgical resection, congenital defects, or disease. Intestinal failure (IF) includes the subset of SBS unable to meet nutrition needs with enteral supplements and requires parenteral nutrition (PN). The parenteral treatment of SBS is now a half-century old. Recent pharmacologic treatment (GLP-2 analogues) has begun to make a significant impact in the care and ultimate management of these patients such that the possibility of reducing PN requirements in formerly PN-dependent patients is a now a real possibility. Finally, newer understanding and possible treatment for some of the complications related to IF have more recently evolved and will be an emphasis of this report. This review will focus on developments over the last 10 years with the goal of updating the reader to new advances in our understanding of the care and feeding of the SBS patient.

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

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Digestion / physiology
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology
  • Parenteral Nutrition / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / complications
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / therapy*