Background Biliary obstruction due to malignant disease causes debilitating symptoms and palliation of the disease involves placement of biliary stents. Covered self-expanding metal biliary stents may provide a longer patency and a lower risk of complications and dysfunction compared to uncovered stents, making them better for patients’ quality of life and cost effectiveness. This study aims to evaluate the indications and outcomes for a group of cases where expanded polytetrafluoroethylene/fluorinated ethylene propylene (ePTFE/FEP) covered metal stents were used to palliate malignant biliary obstruction.
Methods All cases of ePTFE/FEP-covered Viabil stent implantation in a 4-year period in a single hospital were identified and details of indications and outcomes for stent placement were recorded. Kaplan-Meier estimator analysis was used to create plots for stent patency and survival time.
Results The median stent patency was 173 days (standard error of the mean, SE = 54) and the median survival time was 247 days (SE = 88). No complications of stent implantation were recorded and in seven cases no dysfunction was noted. In one case, tumour ingrowth was observed, and in one other case the stent was no longer found in situ on subsequent imaging.
Conclusion The use of the ePTFE/FEP-covered Viabil stent in the palliation of malignant obstruction where indicated is promising, providing a low rate of stent dysfunction and complications. More data need to be collected to conclusively ascertain whether covered stents have a longer patency and lower complication rate compared to uncovered stents.
- biliary tree stent
- covered metallic stents
- malignant biliary obstruction
- percutaneous intervention
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Contributors Both authors contributed equally in the production of this manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.