New Insights into the Indications for Intestinal Transplantation: Consensus in the Year 2019

Stuart S. Kaufman, Yaron Avitzur, Sue V. Beath, Laurens J. Ceulemans, Gabriel E. Gondolesi, George V. Mazariegos, Loris Pironi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In 2001, a Statement was published that described indications for intestinal transplantation in patients with intestinal failure expected to require parenteral nutrition indefinitely. Since 2001, advances in the management of intestinal failure including transplantation and patient survival, both on extended parenteral nutrition and after transplantation, have improved, leading to a reduction in the number of intestinal transplants worldwide from a peak of 270 per year in 2008 to 149 per year in 2017. These changes suggest that the original 2001 Statement requires reassessment. All patients with permanent intestinal failure should be managed by dedicated multidisciplinary intestinal rehabilitation teams. Under care of these teams, patients should be considered for intestinal transplantation in the event of progressive intestinal failure-associated liver disease, progressive loss of central vein access, and repeated life-threatening central venous catheter-associated infections requiring critical care. Additional indications for transplantation include large desmoid tumors and other intra-abdominal tumors with reasonable expectation of posttransplant cure, extensive mesenteric vein thrombosis and intestinal infarction, total intestinal aganglionosis, and nonrecoverable congenital secretory diarrhea. Quality of life typically improves after successful intestinal transplantation and may support the decision to proceed with transplantation when other indications are present. However, the requirement for life-long immunosuppression and its associated side effects preclude intestinal transplantation if motivated only by an expectation of improved quality of life. Increasing experience with intestinal transplantation and critical appraisal of transplant outcomes including graft survival and patient quality of life together with potential advances in immunosuppression can be expected to influence transplant practices in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-946
Number of pages10
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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