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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 24

of 'Supportive care of the patient with locally advanced or metastatic exocrine pancreatic cancer'

Palliative biliary stents for obstructing pancreatic carcinoma.
Moss AC, Morris E, Mac Mathuna P
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;
BACKGROUND: Palliative endoscopic stents or surgical by-pass are often required for inoperable pancreatic carcinoma to relieve symptomatic obstruction of the distal biliary tree. The optimal method of intervention remains unknown.
OBJECTIVES: To compare surgery, metal endoscopic stents and plastic endoscopic stents in the relief of distal biliary obstruction in patients with inoperable pancreatic carcinoma.
SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the databases of the Cochrane Upper Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Group specialised register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials , MEDLINE, EMBASE, CancerLit, Current Concepts Database and BIDS (September 2002 to September 2004). Reference lists of articles and published abstracts from UEGW and DDW were hand-searched.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing surgery to endoscopic stenting, endoscopic metal stents to plastic stents, and different types of endoscopic plastic and metal stents, used to relieve obstruction of the distal bile duct in patients with inoperable pancreatic carcinoma.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Adverse effects information was collected from the trials.
MAIN RESULTS: Twenty-one trials involving 1,454 people were included. Based on meta-analysis, endoscopic stenting with plastic stents appears to be associated with a reduced risk of complications (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.45 - 0.81), but with higher risk of recurrent biliary obstruction prior to death (RR 18.59, 95% CI 5.33 - 64.86) when compared with surgery. There was a trend towards higher 30-day mortality in the surgical group (p=0.07, RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.32, 1.04). There was no evidence of a difference in technical or therapeutic success. Other outcomes were not suitable for meta-analysis. No trials comparing endoscopic metal stents to surgery were identified. In endoscopic stent comparisons, metal biliary stents appear to have a lower risk of recurrent biliary obstruction than plastic stents (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.39 - 0.69). There was no significant statistical difference in technical success, therapeutic success, complications or 30-day mortality using meta-analysis. A narrative review of studies of the cost-effectiveness of metal stents drew conflicting conclusions, but results may be dependent on the patients' length of survival. Neither Teflon, hydrourethane, or hydrophilic coating appear to improve the patency of plastic stents above polyethylene in the trials reviewed. Only perflouro alkoxy plastic stents had superior outcome to polyethylene stents in one trial. The single eligible trial comparing types of metal stents reported higher patency with covered stents, but also a higher risk of complications. These results are based on review of the trials individual results only.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic metal stents are the intervention of choice at present in patients with malignant distal obstructive jaundice due to pancreatic carcinoma. In patients with short predicted survival, their patency benefits over plastic stents may not be realised. Further RCTs are needed to determine the optimal stent type for these patients.