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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 77

of 'Post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) septic complications'

An audit of metal stent palliation for malignant biliary obstruction.
McDougall NI, Edmunds SE
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001;16(9):1051.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Endoscopic stent insertion is the optimum method of palliation for malignant biliary obstruction. Metal stents have several advantages over the polyethylene alternatives, but are significantly more expensive. It has been reported that patients need to survive beyond 6 months to make metal stents more cost-effective. The aim of this study was to audit the performance of expanding metal biliary stents in our endoscopy unit, and to identify factors that might help with patient selection.
METHODS: The records of all patients who were selected for endoscopic metal stent insertion at the Royal Perth Hospital for malignant biliary obstruction between September 1994 and November 1998 were reviewed.
RESULTS: Thirty-two patients (16 males, mean age 71 years (range 34-88 years) were identified and followed up for a mean 201 days (range 3-810 days). Fifteen (47%) had cholangiocarcinoma, 13 (41%) had pancreatic cancer, and four had metastatic disease as the cause of obstruction. Mortality rates after metal stent insertion were 16, 41 and 55% at 30, 90 and 180 days, respectively. In total, 24 (75%) patients died during the follow-up period. Eleven (34%) stents becameobstructed during follow up with a median time to occlusion of 125 days (range 44-729 days). Patients with cholangiocarcinoma had significantly longer survival than pancreatic cancer cases (median 286 vs 58 days, P = 0.04). No other factors were found to correlate with the survival or stent complications.
CONCLUSIONS: Less than half of this mixed cohort survived beyond 6 months. Metal stent palliation of malignant biliary obstruction should probably be targeted at those with cholangiocarcinoma, as these patients tend to survive longer.
Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.