Ultra-short-bowel syndrome is not an absolute indication to small-bowel transplantation in childhood

Manuela Gambarara, F. Ferretti, P. Bagolan, B. Papadatou, M. Rivosecchi, M. C. Lucchetti, A. Nahom, M. Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Short-bowel syndrome (SBS) either in adults or in children is considered as an indication to small-bowel transplantation (SBTx), particularly in its most severe form with a residual bowel length below 20 cm. Among factors likely to worsen the prognosis, more recent reports also indicate the number of surgical interventions, early onset sepsis and early development of liver disease. We report six cases of ultra-short-bowel syndrome followed from birth to verify the importance of various prognostic factors. In our case series, the male sex is predominating (5:1). Intestinal resection was indicated in 3 patients for multiple intestinal atresias, in 2 for volvulus and in I for necrotizing enterocolitis. The length of intestine remaining was invariably less than 20 cm and 2 patients had a preserved ileocecal valve. In most cases, more than 50% of the colon remained. The number of abdominal operations ranged from 1 to 4. In almost all cases (5 of 6), sepsis and hepatopathy developed early. Our experience suggests that rather than depending on the length of intestine remaining or the presence of the ileocecal valve, the prognosis of patients with the extreme-short-bowel syndrome depends on recurrent neonatal onset sepsis and early onset liver impairment. In addition, our case review shows that the extreme-short-bowel syndrome is not necessarly an indication for bowel transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-270
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999


  • Small-bowel transplantation
  • Ultra-short-bowel syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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