Twenty-nine patients underwent courses of home parenteral nutrition therapy ranging from 1.5 to 52 months (mean 14.5 months). The primary diagnoses responsible for the requirement of home parenteral nutrition were radiation enteritis in seven patients, short bowel syndrome secondary to resection in seven, Crohn's disease in two, malabsorption states in six, and other reasons in seven. Seventeen patients (57 percent) had at least one complication. Nine patients had intravenous catheter complications and nine had metabolic complications. Nine patients have died, 11 have been successfully weaned from home parenteral nutrition, and 9 continue to receive home parenteral nutrition. Home parenteral nutrition is useful in a variety of catastrophic clinical situations, including preparation for subsequent operative therapy, temporary malabsorption, and permanent disability of the gastrointestinal tract. Complications are frequent and may be life-threatening.
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