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World J Surg. 2000 Dec;24(12):1537-41.

Remaining small bowel length: association with catheter sepsis in patients receiving home total parenteral nutrition: evidence of bacterial translocation.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS) receiving total parenteral nutrition (TPN) have a high incidence of catheter-related sepsis, one of its major complications. The aim of this study was to correlate the length of remaining small bowel (RSB) with septic episodes related to the central venous catheter in a group of patients with severe SBS with home TPN. The length of the RSB (<50 cm or > or = 50 cm) was related to the frequency of catheter sepsis, time until the first episode, and the agents responsible in eight SBS patients receiving home TPN. There were 13 episodes of catheter infection (0.88 per patient-year). The group with a shorter RSB length (five patients) presented 1.3 to 2.76 infections/year and 2 to 9 months until the first episode, compared to 0 to 0.75 infections/ year (p = 0.0357) and 11 to 65 months until the first episode (p = 0.0332) in the group with the longer RSB. In the first group, the agents isolated were Enterobacteriae (Enterobacter sp., Klebsiella sp., Pseudomonas sp., and Proteus sp.) in eight episodes and Candida sp. in one. In the latter sepsis was caused by Staphylococcus sp. in three episodes and Pseudomonas sp. in one. Therefore patients with remaining small bowel shorter than 50 cm have a higher frequency of catheter-related sepsis, particularly by enteric microorganisms. This might be an evidence of the occurrence of bacterial translocation and its role in the pathogenesis of catheter-related sepsis in patients with an extremely short RSB receiving home TPN.

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