Nitinol Stents for Palliative Treatment of Malignant Obstructive Jaundice: Should We Stent the Sphincter of Oddi in Every Case?
The authors percutaneously and endoscopically inserted 58 Wallstent endoprostheses in 42 consecutive patients with benign and malignant obstructive biliary stenoses. The three patients with benign obstructive jaundice were followed up for 48 months. Two of the stents occluded due to sludge formation, prompting percutaneous reentry. The 39 patients with malignant disease were followed up for 18 months. Twenty-six of these patients died 3 days to 1.5 years (mean, 133 days) after the procedure. Thirteen are alive after 2-12 months (mean, 242 days). Recurrent jaundice occurred in 11 patients (28%): in four patients due to tumor growth over the proximal end of the stent, in one patient due to excessive gallbladder hydrops, and in six patients due to liver failure. Although autopsy investigations revealed the possibility of tumor growth onto the inner surface of the stent through the stainless steel mesh of the endoprosthesis, stent occlusion by tumor ingrowth into the lumen was not encountered.