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Dig Liver Dis. 2003 May;35(5):314-24.

Safety and efficacy of home parenteral nutrition for chronic intestinal failure: a 16-year experience at a single centre.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.



Comparisons between safety and efficacy of home parenteral nutrition and of intestinal transplantation for treatment of chronic intestinal failure derived from observational studies.


To present the 16-year experience of home parenteral nutrition by the Chronic Intestinal Failure Centre of Bologna University.


A total of 40 adult patients were enrolled between 1986 and 2001.


Safety indices: survival and cause of death, catheter-related bloodstream infection, deep vein thrombosis, liver disease. Efficacy indices: nutritional and rehabilitation status, quality of life (SF36 instrument), re-hospitalisation rate.


Kaplan-Maier analysis and Cox model for survival probability and risk factors; logistic regression for catheter-related bloodstream infection risk factors.


Survival rates at 1, 3 and 5 years were 97, 82 and 67% respectively. Survival was higher in patients < or = 40 years. One death was home parenteral nutrition-related. Incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infection: 0.30/year home parenteral nutrition, was lower in patients treated by a specialized nursing protocol. Incidence of deep vein thrombosis was 0.05/year home parenteral nutrition. Hepatosteatosis occurred in 55%. Body weight remained stable or increased in 80%. Rehabilitation was total or partial in 74%. Re-hospitalisation rate was 0.70/year home parenteral nutrition. Quality of life scored significantly lower than in healthy populations in six out of eight domains.


Home parenteral nutrition is a safe and efficacious therapy for chronic intestinal failure. Survival compares favourably with survival after intestinal transplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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