Intestinal transplantation (ITx) has evolved into an established therapeutic modality in the management of the patients with irreversible intestinal failure (IF). It is performed mainly in patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS) and those who develop cholestatic liver disease from total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Indications for intestinal transplant include depletion of central venous access sites, multiple episodes of catheter related sepsis, electrolyte disturbance, dehydration and progressive cholestatic liver failure.
The number of patients who undergo ITx is much lower than for other forms of organ transplantation, and there are fewer centers that perform it. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network reported that in the United States between 1990 and 2010, a total of 2035 ITx were performed . The number of ITx was highest in 2007 (198 transplants).
This topic review provides an overview of intestinal and multivisceral transplantation. The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) guideline for short bowel syndrome and intestinal transplantation , as well as other AGA guidelines, can be accessed through the AGA web site at www.gastro.org/practice/medical-position-statements.
ITx has been performed in children with a variety of causes of SBS including congenital anomalies, necrotizing enterocolitis, intestinal atresia, mid gut volvulus, gastroschisis, and motility disorders (figure 1). In adults, ITx has been performed mainly in those with SBS related to Crohn's disease, mesenteric thrombosis, trauma, and desmoid tumors (figure 2) [3-5].
In both children and adults, ITx is usually considered in those who developed serious complications related to TPN, such as when: