Evaluation Studies
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Serial transverse enteroplasty (STEP): a novel bowel lengthening procedure.

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Bowel lengthening may be beneficial for children with short bowel syndrome. However, current techniques require at least one intestinal anastomosis and place the mesenteric blood supply at risk. This study seeks to establish the technical principles of a new, simple, and potentially safer bowel lengthening procedure.

METHODS: Young pigs (n = 6) underwent interposition of a reversed intestinal segment to produce proximal small bowel dilation. Five weeks later the reversed segment was resected. Lengthening of the dilated bowel then was performed by serial transverse applications of a GIA stapler, from opposite directions, to create a zig zag channel. A distal segment of equal length served as an in situ morphometric control. Contrast radiologic studies were performed 6 weeks later, and the animals were killed. Statistical comparisons were made by paired t test with P less than.05 considered significant.

RESULTS: After bowel lengthening, all animals gained weight (66.7 +/- 3.0 [SD] kg v 42.5 +/- 3.5 kg; P <.001) and showed no clinical or radiologic evidence of intestinal obstruction. Intraoperatively, immediately after serial transverse enteroplasty, the intestine was substantially elongated (82.8 +/- 6.7 cm v 49.2 +/- 2 cm; P <.01). Six weeks after surgery, the lengthened intestinal segment became practically straight and, compared with the in situ control, remained significantly longer (80.7 +/- 13.1 cm v 57.2 +/- 10.4 cm; P <.01). There was no difference in diameter between these segments (4.3 +/- 0.7 cm v 3.8 +/- 0.4 cm; P value, not significant).

CONCLUSIONS: Serial transverse enteroplasty (STEP) significantly increases intestinal length without any evidence of obstruction. This procedure may be a safe and facile alternative for intestinal lengthening in children with short bowel syndrome.

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