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Serial transverse enteroplasty is associated with successful short-term outcomes in infants with short bowel syndrome.

BACKGROUND: The serial transverse enteroplasty (STEP) has been shown to improve nutritional indices in an animal model of short bowel syndrome. The aim of this study was to review short-term surgical and nutritional outcomes in the first cohort of infants to undergo the STEP procedure at our institution.

METHODS: All patients who underwent the STEP procedure during a 26-month period from February 2002 to March 2004 were reviewed. Paired t tests were used for comparisons between values pre-STEP and post-STEP (P < .05 deemed significant). Data are expressed as mean and range.

RESULTS: The STEP was performed on 5 patients, including 1 newborn. The STEP was used as a primary lengthening operation in 4 patients. Intestinal length was significantly increased in all patients with 18 (10-26) stapler applications. There were no perioperative complications and no evidence of intestinal leak or obstruction on routine postoperative contrast study. Nutritional follow-up was available on 3 subjects at 17 (11-26) months post-STEP. Percentage of enteral nutrition was significantly increased in these subjects (P < .05). One subject was fully weaned from total parenteral nutrition 6 weeks after the STEP, and bilirubin in another patient with profound cholestasis who had been listed for liver-small bowel transplant normalized after the STEP. An additional patient, with established cirrhosis before operation, underwent successful liver-small bowel transplantation 8 months after intestinal lengthening.

CONCLUSION: The STEP procedure is a simple bowel-lengthening procedure with promising early surgical and nutritional outcomes. Further data from a multicenter registry are needed to demonstrate its long-term efficacy.

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