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Gut 57:455-461 doi:10.1136/gut.2007.133389
  • Small bowel

Long-term outcome, growth and digestive function in children 2 to 18 years after intestinal transplantation

  1. F Lacaille1,
  2. N Vass1,
  3. F Sauvat2,
  4. D Canioni3,
  5. V Colomb1,
  6. C Talbotec1,
  7. N Patey-Mariaud De Serre3,
  8. J Salomon1,
  9. J-P Hugot4,
  10. J-P Cézard4,
  11. Y Révillon2,
  12. F M Ruemme1,
  13. O Goulet1
  1. 1
    Pediatric Gastroenterology-Hepatology-Nutrition Unit, Reference Center for Rare Digestive Diseases in Children, Necker-Enfants malades Hospital, Paris, France
  2. 2
    Pediatric Surgery Unit, Reference Center for Rare Digestive Diseases in Children, Necker-Enfants malades Hospital, Paris, France
  3. 3
    Pathology Unit, Reference Center for Rare Digestive Diseases in Children, Necker-Enfants malades Hospital, Paris, France
  4. 4
    Pediatric Gastroenterology-Nutrition Unit, Robert-Debré Hospital, Paris, France
  1. F Lacaille, Pediatric Gastroenterology-Hepatology-Nutrition Unit, Necker-Enfants malades Hospital, 149 rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France; florence.lacaille{at}nck.aphp.fr
  • Accepted 12 November 2007
  • Final version accepted 16 November 2007
  • Published Online First 13 December 2007

Abstract

Objective: Small bowel (SB) transplantation (Tx), long considered a rescue therapy for patients with intestinal failure, is now a well recognised alternative treatment strategy to parental nutrition (PN). In this retrospective study, we analysed graft functions in 31 children after SBTx with a follow-up of 2–18 years (median 7 years).

Patients: Twelve children had isolated SBTx, 19 had combined liver–SBTx and 17 received an additional colon graft. Growth, nutritional markers, stool balance studies, endoscopy and graft histology were recorded every 2–3 years post-Tx.

Results: All children were weaned from PN after Tx and 26 children remained PN-free. Enteral nutrition was required for 14/31 (45%) patients at 2 years post-Tx. All children had high dietary energy intakes. The degree of steatorrhoea was fairly constant, with fat and energy absorption rates of 84–89%. Growth parameters revealed at transplantation a mean height Z-score of –1.17. After Tx, two-thirds of children had normal growth, whereas in one-third, Z-scores remained lower than –2, concomitant to a delayed puberty. Adult height was normal in 5/6. Endoscopy and histology analyses were normal in asymptomatic patients. Chronic rejection occurred only in non-compliant patients. Five intestinal grafts were removed 2.5–8 years post-Tx for acute or chronic rejection.

Conclusions: This series indicates that long-term intestinal autonomy for up to 18 years is possible in the majority of patients after SBTx. Subnormal energy absorption and moderate steatorrhoea were often compensated for by hyperphagia, allowing normal growth and attainment of adult height. Long-term compliance is an important pre-requisite for long-term graft function.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None declared.