Fully Covered Self-Expandable Metal Stents for Treatment of Malignant Biliary Strictures due to Pancreatic Carcinoma

Ahmed Abdel Samie, Michael Stumpf, Lorenz Theilmann


Background: Transpapillary stents are used to treat malignant biliary strictures. However, there are different stent types and data are controversial in respect to success and complications. Recently, completely covered self-expandable metal stents (CSEMS) have become available. The aim of this study is to present a consecutive series of CSEMS placed to decompress the bile duct in malignant stenosis due to pancreatic carcinoma and to evaluate the effectiveness, complication rate and extractability of these devices.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the courses of 27 consecutive patients who received CSEMS due to malignant biliary strictures because of pancreatic carcinoma regardless of presumed resectability between January 2010 and May 2012 in our endoscopic unit.

Results: A total of 27 patients (12 male and 15 female) were included in the study. The mean age of the patients was 75 years. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) and stent placement were successful at first attempt in all cases. The mean length of the stenosis was 20 mm. In 24 patients (89%) a stent length of 4 cm was sufficient to bridge the stenosis. In three cases a stent length of 6 cm was necessary. Drainage was achieved as monitored by a significant decrease or normalization of bilirubin in all cases (mean bilirubin 8.5 mg/dL and 1.5 mg/dL before and after stent placement respectively), 15 patients underwent surgery with pylorus preserving duodenopancreatectomy. In all patients who underwent surgery stents could be removed during the operation without difficulties. Leakage of the biliodigestive anastomosis occurred in one patient (6.6%). Four (15%) of the 27 patients developed complications related to the endoscopic procedure and/or stent placement respectively (cholecystitis in two patients, stent occlusion in one patient, and post-sphincterotomy bleeding in one patient).

Conclusion: The prolonged patency, extractability, and low complication rate of CSEMS make them an attractive treatment option in patients with malignant biliary strictures due to pancreatic carcinoma regardless of resectability.

Gastroenterol Res. 2012;5(5):195-199
doi: https://doi.org/10.4021/gr466w


Completely covered self-expandable metal stents; Pancreatic carcinoma; Biliary stenosis

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