Gastrointestinal Inability to Absorb Adequate Nutrients

PN is indicated if the patient is unable to absorb adequate nutrients via the gastrointestinal tract. Short bowel syndrome can result from extensive bowel resection or dysfunction. Initially, fluid and electrolyte management is often the most critical aspect of nutrition care. Losses can be extensive. The resulting degree of malabsorption, and therefore the specific nutrition management requirements, depends on the remaining intestinal length or function, the presence or absence of large bowel continuity, and the presence or absence of the ileum. Enteral nutrition support is preferred over parenteral support; however, the adaptive phase for the remaining gastrointestinal tract often necessitates a period of PN requirement, often months to a few years. Sometimes patients with extensive bowel resection (less than 100 cm of remaining bowel) may require lifelong PN or small bowel transplantation.

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