STEP improves long-term survival for pediatric short bowel syndrome patients: A Markov decision analysis

Rashikh A. Choudhury*, Dor Yoeli, Gerard Hoeltzel, Hunter B. Moore, Kas Prins, Mark Kovler, Seth D. Goldstein, Stephan G. Holland-Cunz, Megan Adams, Jonathan Roach, Trevor L. Nydam, Raphael N. Vuille-dit-Bille

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Increasingly, for pediatric patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS), intestinal lengthening procedures such as serial transverse enteroplasty (STEP) are being offered with the hope of improving patients’ chances for achieving enteral autonomy. However, it remains unclear to what extent STEP reduces the long-term need for intestinal transplant or improves survival. Methods: Based on existing literature, a decision analytic Markov state transition model was created to simulate the life of 1,000 pediatric SBS patients. Two simulations were modeled: 1) No STEP: patients were listed for transplant once medical management failed and 2) STEP: patients underwent STEP therapy and subsequent transplant listing if enteral autonomy was not achieved. Sensitivity analysis of small bowel length and anatomy was completed. Base case patients were defined as neonates with a small bowel length of 30cm. Results: For base case patients with an ostomy and a NEC SBS etiology, STEP was associated with increased rates of enteral autonomy after 10 years for patients with an ICV (53.9% [STEP] vs. 51.1% [No STEP]) and without an ICV (43.4% [STEP] vs. 36.3% [No STEP]). Transplantation rates were also reduced following STEP therapy for both ICV (17.5% [STEP] vs. 18.2% [No STEP]) and non-ICV patients (20.2% [STEP] vs. 22.1% [No STEP]). 10-year survival was the highest in the (+) STEP and (+) ICV group (85.4%) and lowest in the (-) STEP and (-) ICV group (83.3%). Conclusions: For SBS patients, according to our model, STEP increases rates of enteral autonomy, reduces need for intestinal transplantation, and improves long-term survival. Type of study: Economic/Decision Analysis or Modeling Studies Level of evidence: Level III

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1802-1808
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Intestinal transplant
  • Markov
  • STEP
  • Short bowel syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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