Reporting on outcome measures in pediatric chronic intestinal failure: A systematic review

S. C. J. Nagelkerke, D. J. Mager, M. A. Benninga, M. M. Tabbers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background & aims: Chronic intestinal failure (IF) in children is a rare and heterogeneous disease requiring treatment with parenteral nutrition. A uniform definition for chronic IF and standardized outcome measures to compare therapeutic trials in these children are lacking. Therefore, the aim of this study is to systematically assess how definitions and outcome measures are defined in therapeutic trials of children with chronic IF. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) databases were searched from inception till August 2018. No language restriction was used. Results: A total of 1766 articles was found of which 70 studies fulfilled our inclusion criteria. 54 studies (76%) did not report any definition of IF. Of the 16 studies (23%) which reported a definition of IF, 7 different definitions were found. The two most frequently used definitions were: (1) the inability to absorb adequate nutrients to maintain body weight or normal growth and development (n = 5), and (2) the dependence upon parenteral nutrition to maintain minimal energy requirements for growth and development (n = 5). A total of 117 different outcomes were reported. The three most reported outcome measures were: mortality (n = 27), liver enzymes (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma-glutamyl trans peptidase) (n = 27), and growth (n = 23). Quality of reporting was considered fair to poor in most studies. Conclusion: There is a lack of reported definitions in studies concerning pediatric IF. Heterogeneity exists in outcome reporting in research concerning pediatric chronic IF. Therefore, we recommend the development of a core outcome set.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1992-2000
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number7
Early online date10 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Chronic intestinal failure
  • Core outcome set
  • Parenteral nutrition
  • Pediatric
  • Systematic review

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