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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of stent size on complications and recurrent dysphagia in patients with esophageal or gastric cardia cancer.

BACKGROUND: Stents are commonly used for the palliation of dysphagia from esophageal or gastric cardia cancer. A major drawback of stents is the occurrence of recurrent dysphagia. Large-diameter stents were introduced for the prevention of migration but may be associated with more complications. OBJECTIVE: To compare small- and large-diameter stents for improvement of dysphagia, complications, and recurrent dysphagia. DESIGN: Evaluation of 338 prospectively followed patients with dysphagia from obstructing esophageal or gastric cardia cancer who were treated with an Ultraflex stent (n = 153), a Gianturco Z-stent (n = 89), or a Flamingo Wallstent (n = 96) of either a small diameter (n = 265) or a large diameter (n = 73) during the period 1996 to 2004. SETTING: Single academic center. PATIENTS: Patients with an inoperable malignant obstruction of the esophagus or the gastric cardia, or recurrent dysphagia after prior radiation, with curative or palliative intent for esophageal cancer. INTERVENTIONS: Stent placement. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Dysphagia score (on a scale from 0 [no dysphagia] to 4 [complete dysphagia]), complications, and recurrent dysphagia. Analysis was by chi(2) test, log-rank test, and Cox regression analysis. RESULTS: Improvement in dysphagia was similar between patients with a small- or a large-diameter stent (P = .35). The occurrence of major complications, such as hemorrhage, perforation, fistula, and fever, was increased in patients with a large-diameter Gianturco Z-stent compared with those treated with a small-diameter stent (4 [40%] vs 16 [20%]; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 5.03, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.33-19.11) but not in patients with a large-diameter Ultraflex stent or a Flamingo Wallstent. Moreover, minor complications, particularly pain, were associated with prior radiation and/or chemotherapy in patients with a large- or a small-diameter Gianturco Z-stent (HR 4.27, 95% CI 1.44-12.71) but not in those with an Ultraflex stent or a Flamingo Wallstent. Dysphagia from stent migration, tissue overgrowth, and food bolus obstruction reoccurred more frequently in patients with a small-diameter stent than in those with a large-diameter stent (Ultraflex stent: 54 [42%] vs 3 [13%], adjusted HR 0.16, 95% CI 0.04-0.74; Gianturco Z-stent: 21 [27%] vs 1 [10%], adjusted HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.11-8.67; and Flamingo Wallstent: 21 [37%] vs 6 [15%], adjusted HR 0.40, 95% CI 0.03-4.79). LIMITATIONS: Nonrandomized study design. CONCLUSIONS: Large-diameter stents reduce the risk of recurrent dysphagia from stent migration, tissue overgrowth, or food obstruction. Increasing the diameter in some stent types may, however, increase the risk of stent-related complications to the esophagus.[1]


  1. Effect of stent size on complications and recurrent dysphagia in patients with esophageal or gastric cardia cancer. Verschuur, E.M., Steyerberg, E.W., Kuipers, E.J., Siersema, P.D. Gastrointest. Endosc. (2007) [Pubmed]
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