Reversal of Intestinal Failure in Children With Tufting Enteropathy Supported With Parenteral Nutrition at Home

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The aim of the study was to review long-term outcome of intestinal epithelial dysplasia (IED)/tufting enteropathy (TE) patients treated with parenteral nutrition (PN) at home managed by an intestinal failure (IF) rehabilitation service.


Infants presenting from 1986 to 2010 with IF, and TE histology were retrospectively reviewed for up to 30 years. Data collected included outcome, presentation, nutrition (parenteral/enteral), country of residence, race, EpCAM gene, growth, bone age, and occupation.


Thirteen patients (6 boys) in Malta and the UK with TE histology were established on home PN. Survival was 100% for UK children and 92% overall (1 death aged 13 months). Six patients (50% of the surviving 12) weaned off PN. Overall PN requirements reduced with increasing age and <7 infusions/week were needed by 10/12, 83% by 10 years, 6/8, 75% who had reached 15 years, 5/7, 71% who had reached 20, and all 4, 100% >25 years. Two of 12 cases weaned from PN by 10 years, 1 of 8 by 15 years, 3 of 7 by 20 years, and 3 of 4 or 75% >25 years. Seven Maltese patients homozygous for the same EPCAM gene abnormality had a similar outcome to the other cases. Weight, height, bone mineralization, bone age, and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels were low, but improved with age. Patients achieved educational levels of parents and were employed.


IED cases should have >92% chance of long-term survival and >50% chance of enteral autonomy by/in early adult life and 75% by 25 years. Even if PN dependent s/he can gain employment. Patients with IED managed on PN at home by an IF rehabilitation service should avoid intestinal transplant.

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