Intestinal transplantation: An update

Jonathan P. Fryer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: As outcomes with intestinal transplantation continue to improve, its role in the management of intestinal failure patients becomes clearer. Some intestinal failure patients do well with long-term total parenteral nutrition (TPN), while others develop life-threatening complications and need to be evaluated for intestinal transplants (ITs). the purpose of this review is to update the current status of intestinal transplantation and its role in the management of intestinal failure patients. Recent findings: Current outcomes indicate that intestinal transplants should be considered earlier in intestinal failure patients that develop liver injury, to prevent irreversible liver disease that would mandate a simultaneous liver transplant. Due to the small bowel (SB) graft's unique immunobiologic features, it is especially challenging to transplant successfully. Although new immunosuppressive strategies have been developed that appear to improve short-term results, their impact on long-term outcomes has yet to be shown. A better understanding of the interactions that occur between the SB's inherent immune system and its luminal flora may be required to devise strategies that will significantly curtail the SB graft's immunogenicity. Summary: Intestinal transplantation remains a significant challenge. Ongoing efforts to better define the parameters that best predict total parenteral nutrition failure and the unique mechanisms that influence small bowel allograft outcomes are necessary before a broader application of small bowel transplantation can be indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-168
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005


  • Intestinal failure
  • Intestinal transplant
  • Total parenteral nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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