The Short Bowel Syndrome describes a combination of clinical and nutritional findings that occur following a significant resection of the small intestine.


The key features are:

(1) a significant loss in absorptive capacity from the small intestine, with

(2) an inability of the remaining bowel to compensate.


Clinical findings:

(1) malabsorption with steatorrhea

(2) chronic diarrhea, which may be severe

(3) dehydration

(4) electrolyte imbalances (sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium)

(5) malnutrition with weight loss and vitamin deficiencies

(6) metabolic acidosis


Potential complications

(1) anemia (with loss of duodenum)

(2) cholelithiasis

(3) gastric hypersecretion

(4) hepatic dysfunction

(5) nephrolithiasis



(1) massive trauma

(2) intestinal ischemia

(3) shock (especially in a patient with severe atherosclerosis)

(4) necrotizing entercolitis

(5) intestinal atresia

(6) intestinal volvulus

(7) gastroschisis or omphalocele

(8) extensive aganglionosis

(9) intestinal pseudo-obstruction

(10) radiation enteritis

(11) Crohn's disease

(12) small bowel bypass for obesity

(13) strangulated hernia

(14) malignancy

(15) marked resection for obstruction


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