Colonic preservation reduces need for parenteral therapy, increases incidence of renal stones, but does not change high prevalence of gall stones in patients with a short bowel.
Forty six patients with less than 200 cm of normal jejunum and no functioning colon were compared with 38 patients with similar jejunal lengths in continuity with a functioning colon. Women predominated (67%), and the most common diagnosis in each group was Crohn's disease (33 of 46 no colon, 16 of 38 with colon). All patients without a colon and less than 85 cm of jejunum and all those with a colon and less than 45 cm jejunum needed long term parenteral nutrition. Six months after the last resection 12 of 17 patients with less than 100 cm jejunum and no colon needed intravenous supplements compared with 7 of 21 with a colon. Between 6 months and 2 years, little change occurred in the nutritional/fluid requirements in either group, though there was weight gain. Of 71 patients assessed clinically at a median of 5 years, none with more than 50 cm of jejunum and a colon needed parenteral supplements. Most (25 of 27) of those without a colon who did not need parenteral supplements required oral electrolyte replacement compared with few (4 of 27) with a colon. None of the patients without a colon developed symptomatic renal stones compared with 9 of 38 (24%) with a colon (p < 0.001). Stone analysis in three patients showed calcium oxalate. Gall stone prevalence was high but equal in the two groups--43% of those without and 44% of those with a colon.