Expandable metal stents for endoscopic bilateral stent-within-stent placement for malignant hilar biliary obstruction

Gastrointest Endosc. 2010 Jan;71(1):195-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2009.08.006. Epub 2009 Nov 27.


Background: Placement of biliary stents is effective for palliation of unresectable hilar malignant biliary obstruction. However, when bilateral self-expandable metal stents (SEMSs) are used, placement can be technically challenging. In many studies, side-by-side placement is performed, although it is unclear whether this is the most anatomical and functional approach.

Objective: We sought to assess the technical feasibility and effectiveness of deploying bilateral SEMSs with a stent-within-stent approach using commercially available stents with a large cell width.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Tertiary care medical center.

Patients: Patients with malignant biliary hilar obstruction referred for endoscopic palliation of obstructive jaundice.

Main outcome measurements: Technical success, ie, successful bilateral SEMS placement across the stricture; functional success, ie, decrease in pretreatment bilirubin level; early and late complications; and stent patency.

Results: Bilateral biliary drainage was attempted and successfully established in 21 patients with malignant hilar obstruction (15 men, 6 women; mean age 63.7 [standard deviation 13.9] years), resulting in clinical improvement of obstructive symptoms. Median follow-up was 6.14 months (interquartile range 3.5-9.5 months). There were 1 (5%) early and 7 (33%) late stent occlusions that required endoscopic reintervention. The 30-day mortality rate was 10% (2 deaths).

Limitations: Retrospective study of a series of cases treated at a tertiary care center by expert endoscopists.

Conclusions: This simple technique was performed by using an open-cell expandable metal stent is technically feasible and easy and allows bilateral placement of SEMSs in patients with unresectable hilar malignancy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cholestasis / etiology
  • Cholestasis / therapy*
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / complications*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jaundice, Obstructive
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents*
  • Treatment Outcome