Unique Features Of Intestinal Transplant Patients

Outcomes following intestinal transplant than other solid organs. Possible reasons include:

  • The intestinal epithelium is more antigeneic and its large absorptive surface expresses donor HLA and non-HLA antigens
  • Large number of white cells in the bowel are readily available to mount an immune response
  • Large number of bacteria in the gut increases the risk of infection after transplantation
  • Patients are ‘high maintenance’ since they require intensive monitoring during the first few weeks following transplantation  and close observation while they are at home following discharge

Patients must take anti-rejection drugs to suppress their immune system so their body will accept the transplanted bowel. They must take enough drugs to prevent rejection, but not too much that could lead to infection and sepsis.  Prograf® (FK506, tacrolimus) is the most common anti-rejection drug used.