Treatment of tracheobronchial obstruction with a polytetrafluoroethylene-covered retrievable expandable nitinol stent

Ji Hoon Shin, Ho-Young Song, Gi Young Ko, Tae-Sun Shim, Sang Wee Kim, Young Kwon Cho, Heung-Kyu Ko, Yong Jae Kim, Hyun-Ki Yoon, Kyu-Bo Sung
Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology: JVIR 2006, 17 (4): 657-63

PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-covered retrievable expandable nitinol stents in tracheobronchial strictures.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: With fluoroscopic guidance, PTFE-covered retrievable expandable nitinol stents were placed in 15 symptomatic patients with benign (n = 6) or malignant (n = 9) tracheobronchial strictures. Complications and improvement in respiratory status were evaluated. Stents were removed electively 6 months after placement in benign strictures or if complications occurred. Membrane degradation or separation from the wire mesh was evaluated in removed stents.

RESULTS: A total of 17 stents were successfully placed and were well tolerated in all patients. Sputum retention, stent migration, and tissue hyperplasia occurred in 23.5% (n = 4), 17.6% (n = 3), and 17.6% (n = 3) of stents, respectively. A total of 11 stents were successfully removed electively 6 months after placement (n = 4) or when complications occurred (n = 7). All 11 such stents were removed without difficulty with use of standard techniques, antecedent balloon dilation being necessary in two cases as a result of tissue hyperplasia. No removed stent showed signs of membrane degradation, and two removed stents showed signs of membrane separation from the mesh.

CONCLUSIONS: PTFE-covered retrievable expandable nitinol stents were effective in the treatment of tracheobronchial strictures. Stent removal was easy with use of standard techniques, and no removed stent showed evidence of membrane degradation.

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