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Redefining short bowel syndrome in the 21st century

Cohran, V. C.; Prozialeck, J. D.; Cole, C. R.

Pediatr Res. 2016 Dec 21; 81(4):540-549


In 1968, Wilmore and Dudrick reported an infant sustained by parenteral nutrition (PN) providing a potential for survival for children with significant intestinal resections. Increasing usage of TPN over time led to some patients developing Intestinal Failure Associated Liver Disease (IFALD), a leading cause of death and indication for liver/intestinal transplant. Over time, multidisciplinary teams called Intestinal Rehabilitation Programs (IRPs) began providing meticulous and innovative management. Usage of alternative lipid emulsions and lipid minimization strategies have resulted in the decline of IFALD and an increase in long-term and transplant-free survival, even in the setting of ultrashort bowel (< 20 cm). Autologous bowel reconstructive surgeries, such as the serial tapering enteroplasty procedure, have increased the likelihood of achieving enteral autonomy. Since 2007, the number of pediatric intestinal transplants performed has sharply declined and likely attributed to the newer innovations healthcare. Recent data support the need for changes in the listing criteria for intestinal transplantation given the overall improvement in outcomes. Over the last 50 y, the diagnosis of short bowel syndrome has changed from a death sentence to one of hope with a vast improvement of quality of life and survival.

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