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J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Jun;40(6):1019-23; discussion 1023-4.

Serial transverse enteroplasty is associated with successful short-term outcomes in infants with short bowel syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



The serial transverse enteroplasty (STEP) has been shown to improve nutritional indices in an animal model of short bowel syndrome. The aim of this study was to review short-term surgical and nutritional outcomes in the first cohort of infants to undergo the STEP procedure at our institution.


All patients who underwent the STEP procedure during a 26-month period from February 2002 to March 2004 were reviewed. Paired t tests were used for comparisons between values pre-STEP and post-STEP (P < .05 deemed significant). Data are expressed as mean and range.


The STEP was performed on 5 patients, including 1 newborn. The STEP was used as a primary lengthening operation in 4 patients. Intestinal length was significantly increased in all patients with 18 (10-26) stapler applications. There were no perioperative complications and no evidence of intestinal leak or obstruction on routine postoperative contrast study. Nutritional follow-up was available on 3 subjects at 17 (11-26) months post-STEP. Percentage of enteral nutrition was significantly increased in these subjects (P < .05). One subject was fully weaned from total parenteral nutrition 6 weeks after the STEP, and bilirubin in another patient with profound cholestasis who had been listed for liver-small bowel transplant normalized after the STEP. An additional patient, with established cirrhosis before operation, underwent successful liver-small bowel transplantation 8 months after intestinal lengthening.


The STEP procedure is a simple bowel-lengthening procedure with promising early surgical and nutritional outcomes. Further data from a multicenter registry are needed to demonstrate its long-term efficacy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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