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Airway stents

Henri G Colt, MD
Section Editor
Praveen N Mathur, MB;BS
Deputy Editor
Geraldine Finlay, MD


Airway stents, also known as tracheobronchial prostheses, are tube-shaped devices that are inserted into an airway. They are usually placed bronchoscopically and can be used to treat a variety of large airway diseases. The indications for airway stenting, types of stents, insertion technique, and potential complications are reviewed here. Other strategies for managing central airway obstruction are discussed separately. (See "Clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, and management of central airway obstruction in adults".)


Indications — There are many indications for airway stenting [1-13], including the following:

Malignant tracheobronchial obstruction in a patient who is undergoing external beam radiation and/or chemotherapy, or who has exhausted his or her curative therapeutic options.

Malignant tracheobronchial obstruction that persists despite endobronchial resection and dilation.

Postintubation subglottic stenosis that fails endobronchial resection and dilation.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 27, 2017.
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