Low circulating concentrations of citrulline and FGF19 predict chronic cholestasis and poor survival in adult patients with chronic intestinal failure: development of a Model for End-Stage Intestinal Failure (MESIF risk score)

Kiran V. K. Koelfat*, Angelique Huijbers, Frank G. Schaap, Sander M. J. van Kuijk, Martin Lenicek, Maarten R. Soeters, Geert J. A. Wanten, Steven W. M. Olde Damink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Patients with chronic intestinal failure (CIF) often develop cholestatic liver injury, which may lead to liver failure and need for organ transplantation.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether citrulline (CIT) and the enterokine fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) are associated with chronic cholestasis and survival in adult CIF patients, and to develop a risk score to predict their survival.

Methods: We studied 135 adult CIF patients on intravenous supplementation (>3 mo). Associations of plasma CIT and FGF19 with chronic cholestasis and survival were estimated by logistic and Cox regression models. A predictive risk score was developed and validated internally.

Results: Patients with chronic cholestasis (17%) had a reduced 5-y survival rate compared with patients without chronic cholestasis (38% and 62%, respectively). In multivariable analysis, low FGF19, low CIT, and female sex were associated with chronic cholestasis. Patients with low rather than high CIT or FGF19 also had reduced 5-y survival rates (29% compared with 69%; 54% compared with 66%, respectively). Risk factors identified in multivariable analysis of survival were low FGF19 (HR: 3.4), low CIT (HR: 3.3), and number of intravenous infusions per week (HR: 1.4). These 3 predictors were incorporated in a risk model of survival termed Model for End-Stage Intestinal Failure (MESIF) (C-statistic 0.78). The 5-y survival rates for patients with MESIF scores of 0 to 40 (n = 13) were 80%, 58%, and 14%, respectively.

Conclusions: CIT and FGF19 predict chronic cholestasis and survival in this cohort of adult CIF patients, and the derived MESIF score is associated with their survival. Pending external validation, the MESIF score may help to identify patients for closer clinical monitoring or earlier referral to intestinal transplantation centers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1620-1629
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • intestinal failure
  • chronic cholestasis
  • FGF19
  • citrulline
  • home parenteral nutrition

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