The ideal donor in intestinal transplantation (ITX) is generally considered to be 50% to 70% of recipient body weight. This may be due to concerns for “small for size” syndrome as seen in liver transplantation. We report our experience using smaller donors (donor-recipient weight ratio [DRWR], < 50%) in ITX recipients.Methods
We studied a group of ITX recipients with DRWR of 50% or less to unmatched controls who received intestinal allografts with DRWR greater than 50%. We examined patient and graft survival and enteral autonomy from parenteral nutrition as surrogate markers for safety of using smaller donors and ease of abdominal wall closure between groups to determine the value.Results
There was no difference in overall patient and graft survival, time to enteral autonomy from parenteral nutrition, and weight gain after ITX over time between groups. The need for complicated abdominal closure techniques was significantly more frequent in the control group than in the study group (34.6% vs 6.9%, P = 0.01). Secondary abdominal closure occurred more frequently in the control group (15.4% vs 0%, P = 0.014). Wound revisions also occurred more frequently in the control group (15.4% vs 0%, P = 0.028).Conclusions
Our data suggest that ITX using smaller donors (DRWR ≤ 50%) seems to be an acceptable practice without adverse impact on surgical complications, nutritional autonomy, and patient and graft survival. Abdominal wall closure seems easier in recipients of smaller donors and “small for size” syndrome as described in liver transplantation does not occur with intestinal allografts.