WLong-term parenteral nutrition (PN) and intestinal transplantation (IT) are life-saving therapies for patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS). However, indications and timing of these therapies are controversial. In this study we aimed to evaluate the indications for IT. Forty-two patients, each with <100 cm of small bowel, were divided into three groups according to the length of remnant: group I patients (n = 18): colon plus 50 to 100 cm of small bowel (SB); group II patients (n = 14): colon plus <50 cm of SB; and group III patients (n = 10): <50 cm of SB without colon. One-year mortality rates for groups I, II, and III were 50%, 72%, and 100%, respectively. All group I survivors developed intestinal adaptation, returning to regular oral feedings at I year. Interestingly, three of four surviving patients in group II developed adaptation and were fed an oral short bowel diet (SBD) at 1 year. None of the group III patients survived >1 year, dying due to multiorgan failure in the early postoperative period or from sepsis within I year. We conclude that patients with a very short bowel are candidates for IT when stable. If the colon is intact, however, regardless of small bowel remnant length, the patient should be given a chance to develop intestinal adaptation before making the decision for permanent PN or IT.