Current practice and future perspectives in the treatment of short bowel syndrome in children—a systematic review
Intestinal failure (IF) is a condition where there is insufficient functional bowel to allow for adequate nutrient and fluid absorption to sustain adequate growth in children. Several etiologies can predispose to IF, including necrotizing enterocolitis, gastroschisis, and intestinal atresias. Intestinal rehabilitation can be seen as a 3-pronged strategy merging nutrition, pharmacologic, and surgical approaches to achieve the ultimate goal of enteral nutrition. Nutrition approaches should seek to facilitate transition from parenteral nutrition (PN) to enteral nutrition because prolonged use of PN is associated with severe morbidity and mortality. Enteral nutrition, on the other hand, promotes and enhances an adaptive response in the intestine. Medications used in the treatment of IF may help alleviate symptoms of diarrhea, bacterial overgrowth, and gastrointestinal dysmotility. Surgical procedures, such as longitudinal intestinal lengthening and tapering (LILT) or serial transverse enteroplasty (STEP), can increase mucosal surface area and may enhance intestinal adaptation. IF is a difficult disease process with a complex patient population and is best guided through this 3-pronged approach by a multidisciplinary team featuring surgeons, gastroenterologists, dietitians, pharmacists, and nurses.