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Presse Med. 1999 Dec 18-25;28(40):2214-20.

[Combined liver and small intestine transplantation in an adult. First case in France. Medical aspects: digestive and nutritional].

[Article in French]

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Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie et d'Assistance Nutritive, Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris.



We report the digestive, hepatic, intestinal and nutritional history of the first combined liver-small bowel transplantation performed in France in an adult recipient. Currently, the clinical course has been favorable at 30 months.


In May 1997, a 21-year-old man underwent a double liver-small bowel transplantation for irreversible chronic bowel failure with severe chronic liver disease subsequent to post-surgical short-bowel syndrome. After 28 laparotomies, there were 15 cm of small bowel left for the gastric anastomosis. The patient had a terminal jejunostomy and a left colostomy, excluding a short segment of the transverse colon and the rectum. Total parenteral nutrition including lipids and been initiated in December 1992 (3500 kcal/d) and had led to severe complications. Intestinal absorption before and after the graft were studied with the balance method (input-output) and used bomb calorimetry and measurements of the steatorhhea and creatorrhea. Functional enterocyte mass was assessed from serum citrullin.


The postoperative period after the liver-bowel graft (220 cm small bowel with terminal ileostomy and jejunostomy) was uneventful. The immunosuppression protocol included tacrolimus, corticosteroids and azathioprin. One mild episode of acute rejection occurred at day 26 and was controlled with a corticosteroid bolus. No episode of liver rejection occurred. Moderate renal failure regressed partially after reestablishing the fluid-electrolyte balance and adapting tacrolimus dosage. Total parenteral nutrition which had sustained the patient for 4 and a half years was definitely discontinued three months after transplantation. Oral nutrition was initially associated with enteral nutrition (from day 20 to day 90) and became exclusive three months after the transplantation. Intestinal absorption coefficients measured before tranplantation, at 3 months (2200 kcal/d, ileostomy flow 1600 g/d), and at 18 months (2400 kcal/d, ileostomy flow 1300 g/d) post transplantation were, respectively, 22%, 90% and 88% for overall calorie absorption, 25%, 65% and 73% for fat absorption, and 47%, 83% and 67% for nitrogen absorption. At 18 months post-graft, there was a spectacular improvement in the patient's neurological status and his liver function was normal. Endoscopy, radiography, histology, and immunohistochemistry explorations were normal. Ileo-rectal anastomosis was re-established at 23 months post-transplantation. At 30 months the patient is living in his home and on 100% oral nutrition.


Clinical, nutritional and functional outcome at 30 months in this first French case of liver-small bowel transplantation in an adult recipient has been excellent.

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