Details of intestinal failure in the Finnish adult population are unknown. This study aimed to specify the intestinal failure prevalence and to clinically characterize the patient population in Finland.
All Finnish healthcare units with the potential of providing parenteral support received an electronic survey to report whether they had patient(s) aged ≥18 years on long-term (≥120 days) parenteral support due to intestinal failure. Patient details came from patient records. IBM SPSS v.25 was used to analyze descriptive statistics.
Of the 74 patients, 52 were included after confirming parenteral support indication from the records. The adult intestinal failure prevalence for 2017 was 11.7 per million, 95% confidence interval: 8.9–15.3. Most patients were women (69%), and the median age was 62 (45–72) years. Short bowel syndrome was the most frequent intestinal failure mechanism (73%), and surgical complication the most frequent underlying diagnosis (29%). Of patients, 66% represented the clinical classification category parenteral nutrition 1 or parenteral nutrition 2. Median Charlson Comorbidity Index was one (0–2.8); hypertension (37%) and diabetes (23%) were the most frequent comorbidities. Patients received seven (3.5–7) parenteral support infusions weekly, and eight patients (15%) were on fluids and electrolytes only. The median duration of parenteral support was 27.5 (11.3–57.3) months. Ten patients ceased parenteral support during 2017 after a median of 20.0 (9.0–40.3) parenteral support months. Eight weaned off parenteral support, one ran out of catheter sites, and one died.
Prevalence and patient characteristics of adult intestinal failure in Finland are similar to those in other Western countries.