The structural and functional changes during intestinal adaptation are necessary to compensate for the sudden loss of digestive and absorptive capacity after massive intestinal resection. When the adaptive response is inadequate, short bowel syndrome (SBS) ensues and patients are left with the requirement for parenteral nutrition and its associated morbidities. Several hormones have been studied as potential enhancers of the adaptation process. The effects of growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1, epidermal growth factor, and glucagon-like peptide 2 on adaptation have been studied extensively in animal models. In addition, growth hormone and glucagon-like peptide 2 have shown promise for the treatment of SBS in clinical trials in human beings. Several lesser studied hormones, including leptin, corticosteroids, thyroxine, testosterone, and estradiol, are also discussed.
- Growth factor