Understanding short bowel syndrome: Current status and future perspectives

Sara Massironi, Federica Cavalcoli, Emanuele Rausa, Pietro Invernizzi, Marco Braga, Maurizio Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a rare malabsorptive disorder as a result of the loss of bowel mass mostly secondary to surgical resection of the small intestine. Other causes are vascular diseases, neoplasms or inflammatory bowel disease. The spectrum of the disease is widely variable from single micronutrient malabsorption to complete intestinal failure, depending on the remaining length of the small intestine, the anatomical portion of intestine and the function of the remnant bowel. Over the last years, the management of affected patients has remarkably improved with the increase in patients’ quality of life and survival, mainly thanks to advances in home-based parenteral nutrition (PN). In the last ten years new treatment strategies have become available together with increasing experience and the encouraging results with new drugs, such as teduglutide, have added a new dimension to the management of SBS. This review aims to summarize the knowledge available in the current literature on SBS epidemiology, pathophysiology, and its surgical (including intestinal lengthening procedures and intestinal transplantation) and medical management with emphasis on the recent advances. Moreover, this review attempts to provide the new understanding and recent approaches to SBS complications such as sepsis, catheter thrombosis, and intestinal failure-associated liver disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Home-based parenteral nutrition (HPN)
  • Intestinal failure
  • Intestinal transplantation
  • Malabsorption
  • Short bowel syndrome (SBS)
  • Teduglutide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding short bowel syndrome: Current status and future perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this