BACKGROUND--Obstruction of a major airway by tumour causes serious morbidity. There is still scope for a widely applicable, simple and effective treatment to provide rapid palliation. METHODS--A fibreoptic bronchoscope prototype with an insulated inner sheath was used under local anaesthesia in 17 patients with locally advanced tracheobronchial malignancies. An insulated flexible electro-surgery probe was used to coagulate intraluminal tumour mass using standard electrosurgery equipment. RESULTS--Immediate reopening of the airway was obtained in 15 of the 17 patients. Two appeared to have extraluminal disease. Eleven patients had an obvious bronchoscopic response in whom a > 75% reopening of the normal airway diameter was achieved. Eight patients had subjective improvement of their dyspnoea, but only in four cases was there an objective improvement in physiological parameters. Haemoptysis resolved in four. There were no deaths resulting from treatment. Minor bleeding occurred in one patient and an aspiration pneumonia occurred in one. Three patients received additional treatment. CONCLUSIONS--Fibreoptic bronchoscopic electrosurgery is a simple technique for rapid palliation and immediate tumour debulking in patients with central tracheobronchial tumours. Further work is needed to compare its efficacy with other techniques.
One hundred and sixteen patients with suspected lung malignancy who were referred for bronchoscopy were examined using both the flexible fibreoptic bronchoscope and the rigid bronchoscope. Both instruments were used sequentially under the same general anaesthetic. Brush biopsies were obtained through the fibreoptic bronchoscope and conventional biopsies, for histological examination, through the rigid bronchoscope. Both specimens were taken from the same area. Eighty-two per cent of those in whom there was a final clinical diagnosis of malignancy were found to have abnormal cytology via the fibreoptic bronchoscope, while abnormal histology was found in 50% by means of the rigid bronchoscope. For those in whom malignancy was confirmed, 16.9% showed disagreement between the two methods in cell typing. Brush biopsy through the flexible fibreoptic bronchoscope under general anaesthesia is confirmed as a sensitive method for diagnosing lung malignancy.
Several studies have shown that after fibreoptic bronchoscopy there may be a deterioration in lung function but it is not known whether this is due to the premedication, the topical anaesthetic, or the obstruction produced by the bronchoscope. The effects of each part of the procedure on spirometric measurements were studied in patients with lung disease and in normal non-smokers. Measurements were made after premedication (papaveretum and atropine) in seven patients and after topical anaesthesia of the bronchial tree (340 mg lignocaine) with and without the bronchoscope in the trachea in 21 patients and 10 control subjects. Premedication had no effect. In the normal subjects lignocaine produced significant falls in FEV1, forced vital capacity (FVC), peak expiratory flow (PEF), and peak inspiratory flow (PIF), and insertion of the bronchoscope caused further falls that were also significant. In the patients, however, although anaesthesia produced significant falls in FEV1, FVC, PEF, and PIF of similar magnitude to those found in the normal subjects, there was no further important decrease when the bronchoscope was inserted. It is concluded that the major effect of bronchoscopy on lung function is due to topical lignocaine in the airways, and in patients with lung disease (excluding asthma or a central obstructing carcinoma) the insertion of the bronchoscope causes little additional obstruction.
Objective. To demonstrate the risk associated with blocked proximal tracheal stents when a patient presents with acute respiratory distress, with blockage of stent and what is the best management we can offer without damage to the stent and its associated complications. Case Report. A 22-yr-old, male patient, presented in severe respiratory distress. He had history of corrosive poisoning for which he was tracheotomised. A stainless steel wire mesh stent was placed in the trachea, from the subglottis, to just above the carina. One month later, he presented with a critically compromised airway with severe respiratory distress. Emergency tracheostomy was done and the metallic stent had to be cut open, in order to provide an airway. Conclusion. Management of blocked proximal stents with patient in respiratory distress remains a challenge. Formation of granulation tissue is common and fibreoptic bronchoscopic assisted intubation may not always be possible. A regular follow up of all patients with stents is essential. Placement of stents within a few centimetres of cricotracheal junction should not be encouraged for long term indications.
Self expanding metal stents (SEMS) play an important role in the management of malignant obstructing lesions in the gastrointestinal tract. Traditionally, they have been used for palliation in malignant gastric outlet and colonic obstruction and esophageal malignancy. The development of the polyflex stent, which is a removable self expanding plastic stent, allows temporary stent insertion for benign esophageal disease and possibly for patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to esophagectomy. Potential complications of SEMS insertion include perforation, tumour overgrowth or ingrowth, and stent migration. Newer stents are being developed with the aim of increasing technical and clinical success rates, while reducing complication rates. Other areas of development include biodegradable stents for benign disease and radioactive or drug-eluting stents for malignant disease. It is hoped that, in the future, newer stents will improve our management of these difficult conditions and, possibly, provide prognostic as well as symptomatic benefit in the setting of malignant obstruction.
Endoscopy; Stent; Palliation; Bowel obstruction; Malignancy
Background and Aims
Palliation therapy is the only available therapeutic method for most patients with tumor-induced obstructive jaundice. Metallic stents are now performed percutaneously as an alternative route to the endoscopic approach. It is widely accepted because of its safety, good patency rate, and minimal invasiveness. This study was designed to evaluate the long-term results of metallic self-expandable stent insertion in patients with malignant stenosis of the biliary tree.
It is a longitudinal study of patients with percutaneously biliary stenting from September 2005 to March 2009. The patients had unresectable malignant biliary obstruction with unsuccessful endoscopic stenting and access. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram performed after adequate local anesthesia, under sonographic or fluoroscopic guidance. Stenting or balloon dilation was performed through the hydrophilic guide wire. Among 50 patients, 45 stents were placed in biliary tree stenosis sites. Patients’ follow-up was during the first, second, third, and then the sixth month after insertion of biliary stents. Stent patency was considered successful in our patients, when there were no lab results or sonographic appearance of biliary tree obstruction.
10(20%) patients’ stent placement treatment failed because of unsuccessful technical procedure. The stenosis of biliary tract was complete and passage of guide wire was not possible through the tumor growth. 6 (15 %) patients with successful stent placements died within one month (mean, 22 days). Total serum bilirubin resolved to below 1.5 mg/dl within 30 days for 36 (90%) patients with successful stent placements. Early complications not leading to death occurred in 28% of cases. The mean survival time for all patients who underwent stent placement was 140 days (16-420days). The mean patency rate for all stents was 147 days.
Percutaneous biliary stenting is a safe procedure with few technical complications and a high success rate of palliation for patients with malignant biliary jaundice. Early complications are mostly managed conservatively and death is mainly due to systemic effects of the malignant disease.
Malignant Jaundice; Biliary Metal Stents; Percutaneous Biliary Stenting
We assessed the efficacy and safety of insertion of a polytetrafluoroethylene membrane-covered self-expandable metallic stent (UVENTA stent) for palliation of malignant ureteral obstruction on the basis of our early results.
Materials and Methods
Eighteen patients underwent UVENTA stent insertion for extrinsic malignant ureteral obstructions of 20 ureters. The UVENTA stents were deployed retrogradely under cystoscopy and fluoroscopy. Candidates for the procedure had preexisting double-J stents that were nonfunctional or caused excessive bladder irritation. We recorded the success and patency rate in addition to any complications associated with the procedure.
The mean length of obstruction was 10.6 cm (range, 2 to 20 cm). Two ureters were obstructed in the upper ureter, 9 in the lower ureter, and 9 in multiple levels of ureter. Simultaneous balloon dilation was performed in 12 ureters. UVENTA stents were successfully inserted in all patients. No obstruction of the UVENTA stents occurred during the mean follow-up period of 7.3 months (patency rate 100%), but de novo ureteral obstruction developed in 4 ureters. There were no instances of stone formation, hyperplastic reaction, encrustation, or migration. Abnormally elevated serum creatinine decreased to normal levels and hydronephrosis gradually resolved during the 4 weeks after UVENTA insertion. No significant complications developed except for transient and self-limiting hematuria and mild lower abdominal pain.
UVENTA stents may relieve malignant ureteral obstruction safely and easily. Long-term follow-up is necessary to assess the role of this stent in the treatment of malignant ureteral obstruction.
Palliative care; Stents; Ureteral obstruction
Endobronchial sonography, a new ultrasound technique, has been evaluated for the assessment of normal lungs and bronchial carcinomas. The procedure was performed with ultrasound catheters, which were introduced into central and peripheral bronchi through the operating channel of fibreoptic bronchoscopes. The bronchial wall is highly echogenic and laminated. The lung parenchyma appears echo rich and patchy. Pulmonary arteries can be identified by the pulsatile changes and floating echoes within the echo free lumen. Echo poor bronchial carcinomas were detected in 69 out of 74 patients with endoscopically visible tumours and in 19 out of 26 patients with peripheral carcinomas. The correct implantation of metallic stents was facilitated by endobronchial sonography in nine patients. The sonographic examination carried no particular risk and caused little discomfort.
Airway complications are among the most challenging problems after lung transplantation, and Self-Expandable Metallic Stents (SEMS) are used to treat airway complications such as stenosis or malacia at the bronchial anastomosis sites. Several transplantation centers are reluctant to use SEMS since their removal is sometimes needed and usually requires the use of rigid bronchoscopy under general anesthesia. The objective of the current report is to describe our experience in SEMS retrieval by flexible bronchoscopy under conscious sedation.
A retrospective review was done of patients requiring tracheobronchial stent placement after lung transplantation in which the SEMS had to be removed. The retrieval procedure was done by flexible bronchoscopy on a day-care ambulatory basis.
Between January 2004 and January 2010, out of 305 lung transplantation patients, 24 (7.8%) underwent SEMS placement. Indications included bronchial stenosis in 20 and bronchomalacia in 4. In six patients (25%) the SEMS had to be removed due to excessive granulation tissue formation and stent obstruction. The average time from SEMS placement to retrieval was 30 months (range 16-48 months). The stent was completely removed in five patients and partially removed in one patient; no major complications were encountered, and all patients were discharged within 3 hours of the procedure. In all procedures, new SEMS was successfully re-inserted thereafter.
The retrieval of SEMS in patients that underwent lung transplantation can be effectively and safely done under conscious sedation using flexible bronchoscopy on a day-care basis, this observation should encourage increasing usage of SEMS in highly selected patients.
Until recently, intubation for the palliation of malignant dysphagia has relied upon the insertion of a variety of plastic tubes. Self-expanding metal stents are reported to have a lower complication rate. We have compared the results of Atkinson tube insertion with self-expanding metal stents in patients with inoperable oesophageal carcinoma. From 1990 to 1994 Atkinson tubes were inserted for the palliation of dysphagia from oesophageal cancer, from 1994 onwards self-expanding metal stents were used. Complications, mortality and hospital stay were compared in both groups of patients. In all, 87 patients with inoperable oesophageal carcinoma were treated, 46 with an Atkinson tube and 41 with metal stents. Complications occurred at similar rates in both groups (56% Atkinson tubes, 44% metal stents). There was a significantly higher perforation rate associated with Atkinson tube insertion (8 patients, 17%) compared with metal stents (1 patient, 2.4%, P = 0.02, chi 2). The length of stay was also significantly higher in the Atkinson tube group (median 10 days) compared with the metal stent group (3 days, P < 0.01, Mann-Whitney U test). Mortality rates were similar in both groups. The use of metal stents for the palliation of dysphagia in inoperable oesophageal carcinoma results in a lower perforation rate and a reduced length of stay and they represent a significant advantage over Atkinson tubes.
Duodenal obstruction may be caused by inoperable malignant disease. Symptoms of nausea and vomiting have been traditionally palliated by surgery. The aim of the study was to determine the efficacy of the endoscopic placement of metal self expanding duodenal stents for the palliation of malignant duodenal obstruction. Four patients with malignant gastric outlet obstruction are described. One patient had a history of oesophagectomy for oesophageal adenocarcinoma and presented with further dysphagia. At endoscopy the recurrent oesophageal tumour and an adenocarcinoma involving the pylorus were both stented. In the other three patients there was a previous history of colonic carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma and oesophageal adenocarcinoma respectively. All four patients were successfully stented with good palliation of their symptoms. Duodenal Wallstents are a useful alternative to surgery in patients with inoperable malignant duodenal obstruction or those who are unfit for surgery.
Malignant airway obstruction and hemoptysis are common in lung cancer patients. Recently, airway stent is commonly used to preserve airway in malignant airway obstruction. Hemoptysis can be managed through various methods including conservative treatment, endobronchial tamponade, bronchoscopic intervention, embolization and surgery. In our case studies, we sought to investigate the effectiveness of airway stents for re-opening the airway as well as tamponade effects in four patients with malignant airway obstruction and bleeding caused by tumors or lymph node invasions.
Bronchial stent; Malignant airway obstruction; Hemoptysis; Lung cancer
Effective palliation of malignant biliary obstruction with conventional 10 or 12 French gauge straight polyethylene endoprostheses is limited by stent occlusion, which typically occurs four to five months after insertion. Short term follow up studies of self expanding metal stents (Wallstent, Schneider, UK) in the treatment of patients with malignant biliary obstruction have shown that their use is associated with fewer episodes of stent occlusion compared with plastic stents. There are few data, however, on the longterm patency and durability of metal stents in malignant disease. Between May 1989 and May 1992, metal stents were inserted in 28 patients with malignant bile duct strictures secondary to ampullary tumour (n = 10), pancreatic carcinoma (n = 10), cholangiocarcinoma (n = 7), and porta hepatis nodes from colorectal carcinoma (n = 1). The follow up of these patients until May 1993 is reported with a median follow up of 14.6 months. Twenty two of 28 (78.6%) patients remained free of jaundice or cholangitis. The median period of stent patency was 8.2 months (range 1.0-32.5). Thirteen patients represented with jaundice or cholangitis and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography showed evidence of stent occlusion due to tumour ingrowth. Successful clearance of metal stents was achieved by balloon trawling, or insertion of a polyethylene stent. In conclusion, metal stents provide improved longterm palliation for patients with malignant biliary strictures with fewer episodes of occlusion compared with conventional stents.
Specific cell typing in lung cancer has important implications for assessment of prognosis and the planning of treatment. Cell typing is, however, often difficult and the problem has been compounded by the universal use of the flexible fibreoptic bronchoscope, which yields specimens only 2 mm in diameter. We have reviewed the records of 107 patients who had a diagnosis of lung cancer established by fibreoptic bronchoscopy and who subsequently underwent staging biopsy or surgical resection. Examination of tissue obtained by surgical resection yielded a different cell type from that identified in specimens obtained at fibreoptic bronchoscopy in 11 of 32 patients with a bronchial biopsy specimen diagnostic of squamous cell, three of 44 patients with a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma, six of seven thought to have a poorly differentiated carcinoma, and 21 of 24 patients with a diagnosis of large cell carcinoma. In all, 41 of the 107 surgically removed specimens (38%) differed in cell type from their corresponding bronchoscopic specimens. Accurate cell typing by specimens obtained at fibreoptic bronchoscopy may be extremely difficult. If clearcut morphological criteria cannot be satisfied, the diagnosis of "lung cancer, non-small cell type" should be made.
A prospective study was carried out to assess the value of bronchoscopic cryotherapy for palliation of inoperable bronchial carcinoma with bronchial obstruction. Symptoms, lung function, and chest radiographic and bronchoscopic findings were recorded serially before and after 81 cryotherapy sessions in 33 consecutive patients. Most patients improved in terms of overall symptoms, stridor, and haemoptysis and they had an overall improvement in dyspnoea. Objective improvement in lung function was seen in 58% of patients and the changes in lung function correlated with symptoms. Bronchoscopic evidence of relief of bronchial obstruction was seen in 77% of patients and 24% showed improvement in degree of collapse on the radiograph. There were no important complications. These results compare favourably with the results in published series of patients having laser therapy. It is concluded that bronchoscopic cryotherapy is valuable for the palliation of inoperable bronchial carcinoma.
Background and Objectives:
Obstructive non-small cell lung cancer and obstructive esophageal cancer are US FDA approved indications of photodynamic therapy (PDT). The usefulness of PDT for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma is currently under clinical investigation. Endoscopic stenting for lumen restoration is a common palliative intervention for those indications. It is important to assess whether self-expandable metal stents are compatible with trans-stent PDT light delivery.
Study Design/Materials and Methods:
Direct effects of various components of metal biliary (n = 2), esophageal (n = 2), and bronchial (n = 1) stents on PDT light transmittance and distribution were examined using a point or linear light source (630 or 652 nm diode laser). Resected pig biliary duct and esophageal wall tissues were used to examine the feasibility of PDT light delivery through the fully expanded metal stents.
While using a point light source, the metal components (thread and joint) of the stent could cause a significant shadow effect. The liner material (polytetrafluoroethylene or polyurethane) could cause various degrees of light absorption. When the stent was covered with a thin layer of biliary duct and esophageal tissues containing all wall layers, the shadow effect could be mitigated due to tissue scattering.
This study clearly demonstrates that it is feasible to combine stenting and PDT for the treatment of luminal lesions. PDT light dose should be adjusted to counteract the reduction of light transmittance caused by the metal and liner materials of stent.
stent; laser; light transmittance; photodynamic therapy
High dose rate (HDR) endobronchial brachytherapy is a
palliative treatment for symptomatic airway obstruction by malignant tumours. We report a novel use of HDR brachytherapy for treating non-malignant bronchial obstruction. The patient had a metal stent placed in a reconstructed airway after a bronchial tear to ensure patency. Granulation tissue formation in and around the stent caused
symptomatic occlusion of the airway, necessitating multiple laser
applications. A single treatment of HDR brachytherapy (1000 cGy) was
delivered following laser therapy. The patient remains well 15 months
after treatment with no evidence of recurrent granulation tissue
formation on bronchoscopy. HDR brachytherapy is an effective treatment
for non-malignant airway obstruction.
Self expandable metal stent can be used both as palliative treatment for malignant colorectal obstruction and as a bridge to surgery in patients with potentially resectable colorectal cancer. Here, we report a case of successful relief of malignant stomal obstruction using a metal stent. A 56-year-old man underwent loop ileostomy and was given palliative chemotherapy for ascending colon cancer with peritoneal carcinomatosis. Eight months after the surgery, he complained of abdominal pain and decreased fecal output. Computed tomography and endoscopy revealed malignant stomal obstruction. Due to his poor clinical condition, we inserted the stent at the stomal orifice, instead of additional surgery, and his obstructive symptoms were successfully relieved. Stent insertion is thought to be a good alternative treatment for malignant stomal obstruction, instead of surgery.
Stents; Neoplasms; Stoma
Aim. Self-expanding metal stents (SEMSs) are increasingly used for the palliation of metastatic colorectal cancer and as a bridge to surgery for obstructing tumours. This case series analyses the learning curve and changes in practice of colorectal stenting over a three year period. Methods. A study of 40 patients who underwent placement of SEMS for the management of colorectal cancer. Patients spanned the learning curve of a single surgeon endoscopist. Results. Technical success rates increased from 82% initially, using an average of 1.7 stents per procedure, to a 94% success rate where all patients were stented using a single stent. There has been a change in practice from elective palliative stenting toward emergency preoperative stenting. Conclusion. There is a steep learning curve for the use of SEMS in the management of malignant colorectal bowel obstruction. We suggest that at least 20 cases are required for an operator to be considered experienced.
BACKGROUND: The palliative effect of a new Airway Wallstent with a polyurethane covering was tested in patients with inoperable malignant lesions of the central airways. METHODS: Thirty six stents were inserted in 27 patients with obstruction (n = 24) or fistulae (n = 3), 15 of whom later received radiotherapy. The degree of symptom relief was assessed 1, 30, and 90 days after stent insertion. RESULTS: Stent deployment was successful in all patients. Significant improvements were observed one day after placement compared with before placement, with no change at 30 and 90 days, in dyspnoea index (mean (SD) 3.2 (0.7) before stent insertion compared with 1.8 (0.7) one day after insertion); Karnofsky index (32 (18) before insertion compared with 55 (15) one day after insertion); and obstruction of airway diameter (85 (11)% before insertion compared with 10 (12)% on day 1 after stent insertion). Stent-related complications needing later interventions included retained secretions (five patients), granuloma formation at ends of the stent (four patients), and stent migration (four patients). Over a median observation period of two months (range two days to 8.5 months) all stent coverings remained intact without delamination or tumour ingrowth. CONCLUSIONS: The Airway Wallstent provided excellent palliation for malignant obstructions and fistulae of the central airways. Retention of secretions and granuloma formation at the ends of the stent warrant minor technical improvements.
BACKGROUND: Use of the flexible needle via the fibreoptic bronchoscope to aspirate mediastinal nodes or masses has largely superseded the use of the rigid needle via the rigid bronchoscope. However, the yield at fibreoptic bronchoscopy is relatively low, although this improves with the use of a wider gauge needle. In this study the sensitivity and the safety of rigid needle sampling of the mediastinum in the diagnosis of lung cancer is evaluated. METHODS: Transtracheal needle aspiration (TTNA) was performed with the rigid bronchoscope and a rigid aspiration needle under general anaesthesia using a previous computed tomographic (CT) scan as a guide to the sample site. A cytopathologist immediately examined the specimens for adequacy and preliminary diagnosis, thus determining the number of aspirations. RESULTS: Twenty four patients were evaluated. The diagnostic sensitivity of TTNA was 88%. This led to a management decision in 21 patients. There were no false positives and no complications. CONCLUSIONS: TTNA using the rigid bronchoscope with CT scanning and a cytopathologist present is a sensitive and safe way of diagnosing lung cancer in patients with a mediastinal mass or enlarged mediastinal nodes.
Self-expanding metallic stents have been employed successfully for vascular, urethral, and biliary strictures. In a prospective study we examined the efficacy of the 16 mm Wallstent for palliation of malignant dysphagia. Eight patients with severe dysphagia due to advanced primary (four) or secondary (four) oesophageal malignant disease were recruited and nine Wallstents were inserted (one patient required two). Dysphagia was reduced in all but one patient, who died after oesophageal perforation; a second patient had a self-limiting bout of haematemesis. Two patients required subsequent treatment for tumour ingrowth but five had no further palliative therapy from stent insertion to time of death. With careful patient selection and skillful application, a 16 mm self-expanding metal endoprosthesis affords effective palliation in malignant oesophageal obstruction.
Patients with tracheal or major airway obstruction due to inoperable carcinomas are at a high risk of developing respiratory failure or post-obstructive pneumonia, or both. This often leads to death in days or weeks. In such cases there is usually an urgent need to restore the airway. This report details the short-term results and techniques used for the treatment of airway obstruction by direct intratumoural injection of several anti-cancer drugs. A total of 93 patients with nearly complete extrinsic obstruction of at least one major airway were treated by injection of anti-cancer drugs directly into the endobronchial tumours or infiltrated bronchial mucosa through a flexible fiber-optic bronchoscope. At every session of treatment 1-3 ml each of 50 mg/ml 5-fluorouracil, 1 mg/ ml mitomycin, 5 mg/ml methotrexate, 10 mg/ml bleomycin and 2 mg/ml mitoxantrone were injected separately at different sites without pre-mixing. Local intratumoural chemotherapy relieved the obstruction in 81 of the 93 patients. Endoscopically visible tumours were reduced in size, and infiltrative changes were also improved. Obstruction was not relieved in 12 patients. The therapy was well tolerated and had no systemic side-effects, and no serious complications. Intratumoural chemotherapy can be considered a new life-saving palliative method in patients with life-threatening airway obstruction.
AIM: To evaluate the efficacy of self expandable metallic stents (SEMS) in patients with malignant esophageal obstruction and fistulas.
METHODS: SEMS were implanted in the presence of fluoroscopic guidance in patients suffering from advanced and non-resectable esophageal, cardiac and invasive lung cancer between 2002 and 2009. All procedures were performed under conscious sedation. All patients had esophagus obstruction and/or fistula. In all patients who required reintervention, recurrence of dysphagia, hemorrhage, and fistula formation were indications for further endoscopy. Patients’ files were scanned retrospectively and the obtained data were analyzed using SPSS 13.0 for Windows. The χ2 test was used for categorical data and was analysis of variance for non-categorical data. Patients’ long-term survival was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method.
RESULTS: Stents were successfully implanted in 90 patients using fluoroscopic guidance. Reasons for stent implantation in these patients were esophageal stricture (77/90, 85.5%), external pressure (8/90, 8.8%) and tracheo-esophageal fistula (5/90, 5.5%). Dysphagia scores (mean ± SD) were 3.37 ± 0.52 before and 0.90 ± 0.43 after stent implantation (P = 0.002). Intermittent, non-massive hemorrhage due to the erosion caused by the distal end of the stent in the stomach occurred in only one patient who received implementation at cardio-esophageal junction. Mean survival following stenting was 134.14 d (95% confidence interval: 94.06-174.21).
CONCLUSION: SEMS placement is safe and effective in the palliation of dysphagia in selected patients with malignant esophageal strictures.
Esophagus cancer; Stenosis; Stents; Complication; Dysphagia
BACKGROUND--Major airways obstruction is a distressing cause of morbidity and mortality. For disease that is extensive and recurrent, there is a need for a safe and cost effective technique for palliation. METHODS--The results of 29 patients with tracheobronchial obstruction (24 malignant and five benign) treated by diathermy resection alone or in combination with endobronchial stenting have been reviewed. RESULTS--The major site of obstruction was the trachea in 14, main carina in seven, right main bronchus in six, and left main bronchus in two patients. Fifteen had received other forms of treatment beforehand including external radiotherapy, endoscopic dilatation, and laser resection (Nd:YAG). Five patients required two or more treatment sessions for symptom recurrence. Ten patients also received additional treatment with a stent (nine) or insertion of gold grains (one). There were no intraoperative deaths or complications and the average length of stay was five days (range 2-14). Twenty eight patients reported immediate symptomatic relief, and objective improvement in the results of lung function tests was seen in eight patients whose condition was less acute and where preoperative lung function tests could be undertaken (average improvement in FEV1 of 53.1% and in FVC of 20.6%). CONCLUSIONS--Bronchoscopic diathermy resection is an effective and safe method for relieving the symptoms of tracheobronchial obstruction at appreciably less cost than laser resection.