The use of self-expandable metallic stents (SEMS) is an established palliative treatment for malignant stenosis in the gastrointestinal tract; therefore, its application to benign stenosis is expected to be beneficial because of the more gradual and sustained dilatation in the stenotic portion. We aimed in this prospective observational study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of temporary SEMS placement in benign pyloric stenosis.
Twenty-two patients with benign stenosis of the prepylorus, pylorus, and duodenal bulb were enrolled and underwent SEMS placement. We assessed symptom improvement, defined as an increase of at least 1 degree in the gastric-outlet-obstruction scoring system after stent insertion.
No major complications were observed during the procedures. After stent placement, early symptom improvement was achieved in 18 of 22 patients (81.8%). During the follow-up period (mean 10.2 months), the stents remained in place successfully for 6 to 8 weeks in seven patients (31.8%). Among the 15 patients (62.5%) with stent migration, seven (46.6%) showed continued symptomatic improvement without recurrence of obstructive symptoms.
Despite the symptomatic improvement, temporary SEMS placement is premature as an effective therapeutic tool for benign pyloric stenosis unless a novel stent is developed to prevent migration.