Intestinal re-transplantation: indications, techniques and outcomes

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The field of intestinal transplantation has shown significant growth and has become the gold standard therapy for patients that suffer from the complications of total parenteral nutrition due to irreversible intestinal failure. In the early years of intestinal transplant, retransplantation was associated with extremely high morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this review is to summarize recent encouraging reports, showing significant improvement in outcomes after intestinal retransplantation.

Recent findings

Recent studies at large volume centers have reported significant progress in patient and graft survival after intestinal retransplantation. Recent literature described the most common indications for retransplantation, surgical techniques, timing of graft enterectomy, immunologic monitoring, and complications. Improvement in outcomes due to advances in immunosuppression management and the importance of liver-containing grafts are also described.

Summary

Improving early to midterm patient and graft survival has made consideration for intestinal retransplantation even more necessary. Current clinical evidence supports the benefit of intestinal retransplantation in well selected recipients. Initial immunosuppression protocols, technical modifications, proper timing of enterectomy, and improved infectious disease monitoring have contributed to improved outcomes.

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