Living-related intestinal transplantation: First report of a standardized surgical technique

Rainer W.G. Gruessner, Harvey L. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Background. Intestinal transplants using cadaver donors have become an alternative to total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for the treatment of irreversible intestinal failure. Intestinal transplants using living-related donors have rarely been attempted, and the surgical technique has not been standardized. Methods. We performed a living-related intestinal transplant for a paraplegic, 16-year-old boy with life-threatening TPN complications, including lack of vascular access, recurrent line infections, and intermittent liver dysfunction. Results. A four antigen-matched donor (father) underwent resection of 200 cm of the ileum on a vascular pedicle comprising the ileocolic artery and vein. This resection left the donor with 300 cm of proximal small bowel, 20 c.m of the most distal terminal ileum, the ileocecal valve, and all of the large intestine. The donor's ileocolic artery and vein were anastomosed to the recipient's infrarenal aorta and cava; bowel continuity was restored with an end-to-end anastomosis between the recipient's jejunum and the donor's ileum. Both donor and recipient had uneventful postoperative courses. Recipient maintenance immunosuppression has been with tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone. One year after transplant, urine methylmalonic acid indicates good vitamin B12 absorption in both the donor and recipient. The recipient has been completely off TPN since discharge (posttransplant day 21), has gained 20 kg, and has had no evidence of rejection, infection, or graft-versus-host disease. Conclusions. Intestinal transplants from living-related donors can be lifesaving for selected patients with chronic intestinal failure and can be done with minimal risk to the donor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1607
Number of pages3
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 15 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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