Intestinal transplantation (IT) is an alternative to lifelong total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for cases
of severe intestinal insufficiency with the following characteristics: venous access impossible,
TPN-dependent liver disease, recurrent sepsis, severe and recurrent electrolyte disturbances.
The 5-year survival rate of TPN is over 85%, while IT has a 5-year survival rate of only
50%, although new immunosuppresive drugs and biological therapy have recently improved
the long-term outcome. The overall prognosis of transplanted patients is anyway better than
that of TPN patients who are in waiting list for transplantation. Indications to gut transplantation
are rare. This fact and the need of highly specialised multidisciplinary team work justifies
the existence of only one centre for IT in Italy.