Plastic or metal stents for benign extrahepatic biliary strictures: a systematic review
OBJECTIVE:Common bile duct (CBD) stenoses often complicate chronic pancreatitis (CP). Although endoscopic drainage is employed as a standard procedure in malignant CBD stenoses, it is not yet the approved standard therapy of CBD stenosis in CP.METHODS:The records of 31 patients with CBD stenosis in CP who had undergone endoscopic placement of plastic endoprostheses into the bile duct between January 1991 and February 1997 were analyzed retrospectively. In all, 18 patients suffered from jaundice and 13 patients exclusively showed serological cholestasis. Upstream dilation of the CBD (19 ± 6.6 mm, 12–35 mm) was detected by ERCP in all patients. In total, 101 endoprostheses were implanted endoscopically, exchanged after 3 ± 2 months, and removed after 10 ± 8 months.RESULTS:All jaundiced patients showed immediate improvement of cholestasis after drainage. At the time of last exchange or after stent removal, prestenotic CBD dilation was reduced in 55% of all patients. Complete regression of stenosis and prestenotic dilation was accomplished only in 13%; dilation remained unchanged in 10%, and even showed progression in 22%. A total of 29 patients were followed-up over 24 months. Cholestatic parameters remained normal in all patients with complete normalization of the CBD, and were only moderately increased in another 10 patients, 7 and 28 months after stent removal, respectively.CONCLUSIONS:Technical and immediate clinical success of CBD stenting in patients with CBD stenoses due to CP is high; however, long-term complete normalization of the bile duct is rare. Endoscopic drainage of CBD-stenosis in patients with CP can be recommended to alleviate acute cholestasis, but not yet as a definite treatment.