Current status of intestinal transplantation in Japan

T. Ueno, M. Wada, K. Hoshino, Y. Yonekawa, M. Fukuzawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The development of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) has dramatically improved the prognosis of patients afflicted with intestinal failure. However, TPN-related complications, which remain a problem for patients with intestinal failure can be addressed by intestinal transplantation, which can significantly improve their prognosis and quality of life. The first intestinal transplantation in Japan occurred in 1996. Of the 17 intestinal transplantations performed to date, six were obtained from deceased donors and 11 from living donors. The primary indications were: short gut syndrome (n = 8), intestinal function disorder (n = 7), and retransplantation (n = 2). In our experience, the 1-year and 5-year patient survival rates are 87% and 69%. All nine patients receiving transplants in the last 7 years have survived, which seem to be acceptable results for the treatment of intestinal failure. Relatively few intestinal transplantations have been performed to date, mainly due to the lack of national health insurance coverage for the procedure and the ban of the use of donors below 15 years of age. Liver failure patients are also ineligible because liver-intestine or multiorgan transplants are not allowed by current guidelines. Case numbers may increase in the future as the result of allowing for pediatric donors in the new Act on Organ Transplantation, which went into effect in July 2010. We continue to work on reforming national insurance coverage to cover multiorgan transplantations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2405-2407
Number of pages3
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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