Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the Ultraflex Diamond stent and the Wallstent for the drainage of distal malignant biliary strictures.
Methods: The results obtained in 23 consecutive patients in whom the insertion of a Ultraflex Diamond stent had been attempted were compared with those obtained in 23 patients matched for age, gender, serum bilirubin, and diagnosis who had been treated with Wallstents.
Results: Biliary drainage was obtained in 100% of cases. More than one stent was required in 4% and 12% of patients treated with Ultraflex Diamond stents and Wallstents, respectively (p > 0.05). The first stent inserted did not provide adequate biliary drainage in four patients, because of the impaction of the proximal end of Wallstents into the bile duct wall (n = 2) and obstruction of the stent lumen by tumor tissue (one in each group). Procedure-related morbidity and mortality were 4%. Patients were followed-up for a mean of 228 days (range, 1 to 1262 days). During follow-up, bile duct obstruction relapsed in 5/22 and 6/21 patients treated with Ultraflex Diamond stents and Wallstents, respectively. Life table analysis of bile duct patency was similar with both stent models.
Conclusions: Ultraflex Diamond stents are easy to insert and provide a high success rate of biliary drainage with minimal complication. Although long-term patency rates obtained with this stent were similar to those observed with Wallstents, no firm conclusion can be drawn in this regard due to the relatively small number of patients studied.