Clinical Intestinal Transplantation: A Decade of Experience at a Single Center


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Abstract

ObjectiveTo assess the long-term efficacy of intestinal transplantation under tacrolimus-based immunosuppression and the therapeutic benefit of newly developed adjunct immunosuppressants and management strategies.Summary Background DataWith the advent of tacrolimus in 1990, transplantation of the intestine began to emerge as therapy for intestinal failure. However, a high risk of rejection, with the consequent need for acute and chronic high-dose immunosuppression, has inhibited its widespread application.MethodsDuring an 11-year period, divided into two segments by a 1-year moratorium in 1994, 155 patients received 165 intestinal allografts under immunosuppression based on tacrolimus and prednisone: 65 intestine alone, 75 liver and intestine, and 25 multivisceral. For the transplantations since the moratorium (n = 99), an adjunct immunosuppressant (cyclophos-phamide or daclizumab) was used for 74 transplantations, adjunct donor bone marrow was given in 39, and the intestine of 11 allografts was irradiated with a single dose of 750 cGy.ResultsThe actuarial survival rate for the total population was 75% at 1 year, 54% at 5 years, and 42% at 10 years. Recipients of liver plus intestine had the best long-term prognosis and the lowest risk of graft loss from rejection (P = .001). Since 1994, survival rates have improved. Techniques for early detection of Epstein-Barr and cytomegaloviral infections, bone marrow augmentation, the adjunct use of the interleukin-2 antagonist daclizumab, and most recently allograft irradiation may have contributed to the better results.ConclusionThe survival rates after intestinal transplantation have cumulatively improved during the past decade. With the management strategies currently under evaluation, intestinal transplant procedures have the potential to become the standard of care for patients with end-stage intestinal failure.

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