Outcomes of airway stenting for advanced lung cancer with central airway obstruction

Hisashi Saji, Kinya Furukawa, Hidemitsu Tsutsui, Masahiro Tsuboi, Shuji Ichinose, Jitsuo Usuda, Tatsuo Ohira, Norihiko Ikeda
Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 2010, 11 (4): 425-8
Approximately 30% of lung cancer patients will develop central airway obstruction (CAO). Interventional therapeutic bronchoscopy including airway stenting (AS) providing immediate and effective palliation is therefore essential to improve quality of life (QoL). However, no report has demonstrated the survival benefit of AS. We retrospectively reviewed 65 patients with CAO due to lung cancer who underwent AS from June 1994 to May 2008. Seventy-nine stents were required. Silicon, metallic, or both stents were placed in 42 (60%), 19 (29%), or eight (11%) patients, respectively. Single stent was required in 53 (83%) patients, double in 10 (14%), and triple in two (3%). AS could provide acute relief of central airway and significant improvement was seen in 98% of patients. Fifty-nine patients with detailed observations were assessed further. Morbidity and mortality rates were 22% and 8%, respectively. AS resulted in 25.2% of one-year survival rate and 6.2 months of median survival time (MST). AS followed by adjuvant therapy provided a four-month increase in MST, although overall survival was not significantly changed. This study represents a single-institution experience. Although an aggressive strategy of AS is justified in order to improve symptoms and QoL, AS itself did not contribute to survival benefit.

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