Posttransplant complications in adult recipients of intestine grafts without bowel decontamination

Jared W. Clouse, Chandrashekhar A. Kubal, Jonathan A. Fridell, Richard Mangus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Background: Selective digestive decontamination is commonly used to decrease lumenal bacterial flora. Preoperative bowel decontamination may be associated with a lower wound infection rate but has not been shown to decrease risk of intra-abdominal abscess or lower leak rate for enteric anastomoses. Alternatively, the decontamination disrupts the normal flora of the gastrointestinal tract and may affect normal physiology, including immunologic function. This study reports complication rates of an intestine transplant program that has never used bowel decontamination. Methods: All adult patients who underwent intestine transplant from 2003 to 2015 at a single center were reviewed. Posttransplant complications included intra-abdominal abscess, enteric fistula, and leak from the enteric anastomosis. Viral, fungal, and bacterial infections in the first year after transplant are reported. Results: There were 184 adult patients who underwent deceased donor intestine transplant during the study period. Among these patients, 30% developed an infected postoperative fluid collection, 4 developed an enteric fistula (2%), and 16 had an enteric or anastomotic leak (8%). The rate of any bacterial infection was 91% in the first year, with a wound infection rate of 25%. Fungal infection occurred in 47% of patients. Rejection rates were 55% at 1 y for isolated intestine patients and 17% for multivisceral (liver inclusive) patients. Conclusions: Among this population of intestine transplant patients in which no bowel decontamination was used, rates of surgical complications, infections, and rejection were similar to those reported by other centers. Bowel decontamination provides no identifiable benefit in intestine transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Bowel preparation
  • Complications
  • Gut decontamination
  • Intestine transplant
  • Multivisceral transplant
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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