Turkish Journal of Surgery

Turkish Journal of Surgery

ISSN: 2564-6850
e-ISSN: 2564-7032


Alp Gürkan1,2

1Department of General Surgery, Çamlıca Medicana Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
2Department of General Surgery, İstanbul Aydın University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey

Keywords: Small bowel transplantation, intestinal transplantation, stem cell transplantation, small bowel insufiency, short bowel syndrome


Small bowel transplantation is a life-saving surgery for patients with intestinal failure. The biggest problem in intestinal transplantation is graft rejection. Graft rejection is the main reason for morbidity and mortality. Rejection has a negative effect on the survival of the graft. While 50%-75% of small bowel transplantation patients experience acute rejection, chronic rejection occurs in approximately 15% of patients. Immune monitoring is crucial after small bowel transplantation. Unlike other types of transplantation, there are no non-invasive or reliable markers to predict rejection in small bowel transplantation. The diagnosis of AR is confirmed by clinical symptoms, endoscopic appearance, and pathological specimens taken by endoscopy. Thus, histopathological examinations obtained by protocol biopsies remain as the gold standard for intestinal graft monitoring; however, biopsies have some complications, especially in small grafts. In addition to the high complication rate, biopsies are non-diagnostic; thus, multiple biopsies should be performed to exclude rejection. Therefore, auxiliary assays, such as measurements of citrulline and calprotectin in the blood, cytofluorographic examination of peripheral blood immune cells, cytokine profiling, and distinct gene-set-change measurements, are increasingly being used in small bowel transplantation. Developments in the understanding of genes seem to be promising that limited gene sets, taken from blood or from intestinal biopsies, will enhance pathological diagnosis. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell transplantation with SBT and tissue engineering are also promising procedures.

Cite this paper as: Gürkan A. Advances in small bowel transplantation. Turk J Surg 2017; 33: 135-141.

Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest was declared by the author.

Financial Disclosure

The author declared that this study has received no financial support.