Nonsurgical Care of Intestinal and Multivisceral Transplant Recipients: A Review for the Intensivist

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Abstract

Intestinal and multivisceral transplantation has evolved from an experimental procedure to the treatment of choice for patients with irreversible intestinal failure and serious complications related to long-term parenteral nutrition. Increased numbers of transplant recipients and improved survival rates have led to an increased prevalence of this patient population in intensive care units. Management of intestinal and multivisceral transplant recipients is uniquely challenging because of complications arising from the high incidence of transplant rejection and its treatment. Long-term comorbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney failure, and neurological sequelae, also develop in this patient population as survival improves. This article is intended for intensivists who provide care to critically ill recipients of intestinal and multivisceral transplants. As perioperative care of intestinal/multivisceral transplant recipients has been described elsewhere, this review focuses on common nonsurgical complications with which one should be familiar in order to provide optimal care. The article is both a review of the current literature on multivisceral and isolated intestinal transplantation as well as a reflection of our own experience at the University of Miami.

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