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Intestinal Transplant


Research & Trials

UCLA's physicians and researchers are among the world's leaders in the pioneering work of intestinal rehabilitation and care, adult intestinal transplant and pediatric intestinal transplant.

Trusting your care to UCLA means that you will have access to the most advanced care possible, with all the advantages of our multi-organ transplantation expertise.

Innovations in Intestinal Rehabilitation at UCLA

By its nature, intestinal rehabilitation and transplantation is an innovative medical discipline. Our UCLA teams are constantly working to find new ways to rehabilitate patients' intestines and avoid or delay transplant, including:

  • Building knowledge of intestinal failure: We played a crucial role in the Pediatric Intestinal Failure Consortium (PIFCon), which collected data on children with intestinal failure.
  • Protecting the liver: Liver disease associated with intestinal failure is the primary complication leading to transplant. Reducing the risk of liver damage also extends a patient's potential use of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and postpones transplant. UCLA's work in this area includes:
    • UCLA's pediatric intestinal rehabilitation and transplantation teams have designed management protocols that focus on maximizing enteral nutrition, minimizing central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and providing lipids at a physiologically appropriate dose in order to reduce the risk of liver damage.
    • Conducted early trials that are paving the way for the use of IV omega-3 lipid formulations, which appear to have a protective effect on the liver.
  • Focusing on intestinal adaptation: UCLA's physicians focus on medically managing the patient's condition, with the emphasis on shifting nutrition from intravenous to enteral - a process known as intestinal adaptation.
  • Researching post-transplant care: UCLA studies are investigating immune-system monitoring, surveillance, nutrition, quality of life and long-term outcomes.

Upcoming Research Opportunities in UCLA's Intestinal Program

UCLA has a number of clinical research studies that are open for enrollment for patients with pediatric intestinal failure.

Our current leading research opportunity is a multi-disciplinary, IRB-approved study for intestinal-failure-associated liver disease, Omegaven and Parenteral Nutrition Associated Cholestasis (PNAC).

For more information about the clinical research, contact:
Kara L Calkins, MD, at 310-794-9855 or kcalkins@mednet.ucla.edu

UCLA's Leadership in Intestinal Transplantation and Care

As one of the most respected programs in intestinal transplant, our physicians and surgeons are active in the field. This engagement keeps us on the cutting edge of new developments in intestinal rehabilitation and care, as well as intestinal transplant.

Some of our recent accomplishments in this area include:

  • UCLA hosted the International Small Bowel Transplant Symposium and will co-host the next Pediatric Intestinal Failure and Rehabilitation Symposium in LA in 2016.
  • Several UCLA physicians participate in the leadership of the Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Association (IRTA).


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