Chronic IF may be reversible, depending on anatomy and intestinal adaptation, but most patients require long-term nutritional support, generally in the form of parenteral nutrition” Bielawska and Allard (2017).
Severe short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a major cause of chronic (Type 3) intestinal failure (IF) where structural and functional changes contribute to malabsorption and risk of micronutrient deficiencies. Chronic IF may be reversible, depending on anatomy and intestinal adaptation, but most patients require long-term nutritional support, generally in the form of parenteral nutrition (PN).
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SBS management begins with dietary changes and pharmacologic therapies taking into account individual anatomy and physiology, but these are rarely sufficient to avoid PN. New hormonal therapies targeting intestinal adaptation hold promise. Surgical options for SBS including intestinal transplant are available, but have significant limitations. Home PN (HPN) is therefore the mainstay of treatment for severe SBS. HPN involves chronic administration of macronutrients, micronutrients, fluid, and electrolytes via central venous access in the patient’s home. HPN requires careful clinical and biochemical monitoring. Main complications of HPN are related to venous access (infection, thrombosis) and metabolic complications including intestinal failure associated liver disease (IFALD). Although HPN significantly impacts quality of life, outcomes are generally good and survival is mostly determined by the underlying disease. As chronic intestinal failure is a rare disease, registries are a promising strategy for studying HPN patients to improve outcomes.
Bielawska, B. and Allard, J.P. (2017) Parenteral Nutrition and Intestinal Failure. Parenteral Nutrition and Intestinal Failure. Nutrients. 9(5).
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