Expandable metallic stents for tracheobronchial stenoses in esophageal cancer

S Takamori, H Fujita, A Hayashi, K Tayama, M Mitsuoka, S Ohtsuka, K Shirouzu
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 1996, 62 (3): 844-7

BACKGROUND: Tracheobronchial stenosis in patients with esophageal cancer can be life threatening. Few reports have discussed use of expandable metallic stents for central airway stenoses in patients with esophageal cancer.

METHODS: Twelve patients with esophageal cancer underwent placement of expandable metallic stents for respiratory distress caused by tracheobronchial stricture. Single or double metallic stents were placed in the stenotic airways under fluoroscopic guidance. Improvement in respiratory symptoms and clinical outcome were assessed.

RESULTS: Most stenoses were located in the trachea or the left main bronchus. From one to four expandable metallic stents were placed in each stricture site, with immediate relief of respiratory symptoms in 8 patients. One patient with tracheomalacia in alive 3 years after stent placement and another is alive 6 months after stent insertion. The other 10 patients lived from 10 to 70 days (mean; survival, 35 days) after stent placement. Death was due to progression of disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Although metallic stents are useful for relieving respiratory distress in patients with advanced esophageal cancer, additional therapies should be considered.

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