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Preliminary experience with intestinal transplantation in infants and children.

Pediatrics 1996 April
OBJECTIVE: This report discusses the preliminary experience with intestinal transplantation in children at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

PATIENTS: During the past 4 years, 16 intestinal transplants have been performed in infants and children. Thirteen have been combined liver and bowel transplants, and the reminder were isolated intestinal transplants. Nearly half of the patients were younger than 1 year of age at the time of surgery, and the vast majority were younger than 5 years of age. All but one had short bowel syndrome.

RESULTS: The 1-year actuarial patient and graft survival rates for recipients of liver and small bowel transplants were 76% and 61%, respectively. Eight of 13 patients who received liver and small bowel transplants remain alive at the time of this writing, with a mean length of follow-up of 263 (range, 7 to 1223) days. Six patients are currently free of total parenteral nutrition. All three patients receiving isolated intestinal transplants are alive and free of parenteral nutrition. The mean length of follow-up is 384 (range, 330 to 450) days. Major complications have included severe infections and rejection. Lymphoproliferative disease, graft-versus-host disease, and chylous ascites have not been major problems.

CONCLUSIONS: Although intestinal transplantation is in its infancy, these preliminary results suggest combined liver and bowel transplants and isolated intestinal transplantation may be viable options for some patients with intestinal failure caused by short bowel syndrome or other gastrointestinal disease in whom long-term total parenteral nutrition is not an attractive option.

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