Palliation of patients with malignant gastroduodenal obstruction with self-expanding metallic stents: the treatment of choice?

Andrew P Holt, Minesh Patel, Mohammed M Ahmed
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 2004, 60 (6): 1010-7

BACKGROUND: Gastroduodenal obstruction is a common preterminal event for patients with gastric and pancreatic cancer who often undergo palliative surgical bypass. Endoscopic palliation with self-expanding metallic stents has emerged as a safe and an effective alternative to surgery, but experience with the technique remains limited.

METHODS: Twenty-eight patients hospitalized with GI obstruction because of incurable gastric or pancreatic cancer were recruited for a prospective study of palliation with self-expanding metallic stents. Complications and clinical outcomes were assessed.

OBSERVATIONS: Stent insertion was technically successful in 26 patients. Thereafter, 24 patients resumed an adequate liquid or semisolid diet. Stent insertion facilitated hospital discharge for 20 patients. Occlusion of the stent because of tumor ingrowth occurred in 3 patients, but there was no complication related to stent insertion or the stent itself.

CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic placement of a self-expanding metallic stent is a simple, effective means of palliation for patients with malignant gastroduodenal obstruction.

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