Long-term parenteral nutritional support and intestinal adaptation in children with short bowel syndrome: A 25-year experience

Rubén E. Quirós-Tejeira, Marvin E. Ament, Laurie Reyen, Faye Herzog, Michelle Merjanian, Nancy Olivares-Serrano, Jorge H. Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

275 Scopus citations


Objective To analyze the outcome of children with short bowel syndrome (SBS) who required long-term parenteral nutrition (PN). Study design Retrospective analysis of children (n=78) with SBS who required PN >3 months from 1975 to 2000. Statistics: univariate analysis, Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox proportional regression model were used. Results We identified 78 patients. Survival was better with small bowel length (SBL) >38 cm, intact ileocecal valve (ICV), intact colon, takedown surgery after ostomy (all P < .01), and primary anastomosis (P < .001). PN-associated early persistent cholestatic jaundice (P < .001) and SBL of <15cm (P < .01) were associated with a higher mortality. Intestinal adaptation was less likely if SBL <15 cm (P < .05), ICV was removed, colonic resection was done (both P < .001), >50% of colon was resected (P < .05), and primary anastomosis could not be accomplished (P < .01). Survival was 73% (57), and 77% (44) of survivors had intestinal adaptation. Conclusions SBL, intact ICV, intestinal continuity, and preservation of the colon are important factors for survival and adaptation. Adaptation usually occurred within the first 3 years. Need for long-term PN does not preclude achieving productive adulthood. Patients with ICV even with <15 cm of SBL and patients with SBL >15 cm without ICV have a chance of intestinal adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • CVC
  • Central venous catheter
  • ESLD
  • End-stage liver disease
  • ICV
  • Ileocecal valve
  • NEC
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • PN
  • Parenteral nutrition
  • SBL
  • SBS
  • SSB
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Short small bowel
  • Small bowel length
  • USSB
  • Ultra short small bowel
  • VSSB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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