Failure of abdominal wall closure after intestinal transplantation: Identifying high-risk recipients

Madeline R. Cloonan, Chaeli A. Fortina, David F. Mercer, Luciano M. Vargas, Wendy J. Grant, Alan N. Langnas, Shaheed Merani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Open abdomen and fascial dehiscence after intestinal transplantation increase morbidity. This study aims to identify recipient and donor factors associated with failure to achieve sustained primary closure (failed-SPC) of the abdomen after intestinal transplant. We conducted a single-center retrospective study of 96 intestinal transplants between 2013 and 2018. Thirty-eight (40%) were adult patients, and 58 were pediatric patients. Median age at transplantation was 36.0 and 5.8 years, respectively. Failed-SPC occurred in 31 (32%) patients. Identified risk factors of failed-SPC included preexisting enterocutaneous fistula (OR: 6.8, CI: 2.4-19.6, P =.0003), isolated intestinal graft (OR: 3.4, CI: 1.24-9.47, P =.02), male sex in adults (OR: 3.93, CI: 1.43-10.8, P =.009), and age over four years (OR: 6.22, CI: 1.7-22.7, P =.004). There was no association with primary diagnosis and prior transplant with failed-SPC. Donor-to-recipient size ratios did not predict failed-SPC. There was an association between failed-SPC and extended median hospital stay (100 vs 57 days, P =.007) and increased time to enteral autonomy in pediatric patients. There is a relationship between failed-SPC and a higher rate of laparotomy (OR: 21.4, CI: 2.78-178.2, P =.0003) and fistula formation posttransplant (OR: 11.4, CI: 2.83-45.84, P =.0005) in pediatric patients. Given inferior outcomes with failed-SPC, high-risk recipients require careful evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13713
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • clinical decision-making
  • complication: surgical/technical
  • intestinal transplantation
  • patient characteristics
  • recipient selection
  • surgical technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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