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Tracheobronchial stents: an expanding prospect.

Internal Medicine Journal 2023 December 23
The first dedicated tracheobronchial silicone stent was designed by the French pulmonologist Jean-Paul Dumon. The most common indications for stenting are to minimise extrinsic airway compression from mass effect, maintain airway patency due to intrinsic obstruction or treat significant nonmalignant airway narrowing or fistulae. Silicone stents require rigid bronchoscopy for insertion; however, they are more readily repositioned and removed compared with metallic stents. Metallic stents demonstrate luminal narrowing when loads are applied to their ends, therefore stents should either be reinforced at the ends or exceed the area of stenosis by a minimum of 5 mm. Nitinol, a nickel-titanium metal alloy, is currently the preferred material used for airway stents. Airway stenting provides effective palliation for patients with severe symptomatic obstruction. Drug-eluting and three-dimensional printing of airway stents present promising solutions to the challenges of the physical and anatomical constraints of the tracheobronchial tree. Biodegradable stents could also be a solution for the treatment of nonmalignant airway obstruction.

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