Home Parenteral Nutrition in Adult Patients With Chronic Intestinal Failure: The Evolution Over 4 Decades in a Tertiary Referral Center
Background/Aims: In Denmark, the public healthcare system ensures patients with intestinal failure (IF) the same rights for a life-saving treatment as patients with other organ failures. This study reports the epidemiological data from the largest Danish IF center. As one of the pioneering centers in treating IF with home parenteral nutrition (HPN), this study documents the HPN evolution and describes the demographics and outcome in one of the world’s largest single-center cohorts. Methods: We included patients with IF discharged with HPN from 1970–2010. Data were extracted according to European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism classifications from the Copenhagen IF database. Results: Over the decades, we observed an exponential increase in the number of HPN patients. The 508 patients with IF collectively received HPN for 1751 years. While receiving HPN, 211 patients with IF (42%) died. Only 24 deaths were HPN related: sepsis (n = 10), liver disease (n = 12), central venous thrombosis (n = 1), and a complicated catheter placement (n = 1). The HPN-related mortality was as low as 0.014 deaths/HPN year. In the first decade, HPN was mainly provided to younger, intestinally resected adult patients with IF with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but numerically, they were subsequently outnumbered by elderly patients with IF with cancer or complications from non-IBD, noncancer abdominal surgery. Despite these demographic changes, the HPN-related mortality has decreased in the past decade. Conclusion: Evolving from being a rare, experimental treatment in the 1970s, HPN at present is safe with a low treatment-related mortality in the experienced center, despite HPN being more widely used in a more elderly population.