NYMC Faculty Publications

Twenty Years of Gut Transplantation for Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction: Technical Innovation, Long-term Outcome, Quality of Life, and Disease Recurrence

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Annals of Surgery

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OBJECTIVE: To define long-term outcome, predictors of survival, and risk of disease recurrence after gut transplantation (GT) in patients with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO).

BACKGROUND: GT has been increasingly used to rescue patients with CIPO with end-stage disease and home parenteral nutrition (HPN)-associated complications. However, long-term outcome including quality of life and risk of disease recurrence has yet to be fully defined.

METHODS: Fifty-five patients with CIPO, 23 (42%) children and 32 (58%) adults, underwent GT and were prospectively studied. All patients suffered gut failure, received HPN, and experienced life-threatening complications. The 55 patients received 62 allografts; 43 (67%) liver-free and 19 (33%) liver-contained with 7 (13%) retransplants. Hindgut reconstruction was adopted in 1993 and preservation of native spleen was introduced in 1999. Immunosuppression was tacrolimus-based with antilymphocyte recipient pretreatment in 41 (75%).

RESULTS: Patient survival was 89% at 1 year and 69% at 5 years with respective graft survival of 87% and 56%. Retransplantation was successful in 86%. Adults experienced better patient (P = 0.23) and graft (P = 0.08) survival with lower incidence of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (P = 0.09) and graft versus host disease (P = 0.002). Antilymphocyte pretreatment improved overall patient (P = 0.005) and graft (P = 0.069) survival. The initially restored nutritional autonomy was sustainable in 23 (70%) of 33 long-term survivors with improved quality of life. The remaining 10 recipients required reinstitution of HPN due to allograft enterectomy (n = 3) or gut dysfunction (n = 7). Disease recurrence was highly suspected in 4 (7%) recipients.

CONCLUSIONS: GT is life-saving for patients with end-stage CIPO and HPN-associated complications. Long-term survival is achievable with better quality of life and low risk of disease recurrence.