The role of airway stent placement in the management of tracheobronchial stenosis caused by inoperable advanced lung cancer

Surg Today. 2010 Apr;40(4):315-20. doi: 10.1007/s00595-008-4058-2. Epub 2010 Mar 26.


Purpose: To our knowledge there is no in-depth report on the benefits of airway stenting, which focuses specifically on patients with inoperable advanced lung cancer causing severe central airway obstruction. We evaluated the role of airway stenting as one aspect of the multidisciplinary management of advanced lung cancer.

Methods: We performed airway stenting in 40 lung cancer patients, placing a total of 58 stents. Stenting was done as a final modality in 22 patients with terminal-stage lung cancer (group A). The other 18 patients received additional therapy after stenting (group B), 12 (66.7%) of whom were treatment-naïve on admission.

Results: The performance status (PS) and Hugh-Jones classification (H-J) scores improved in both groups after stenting: from 3.56 to 2.48 (P = 0.001) and 4.29 to 3.20 (P = 0.004) in group A, and from 3.15 to 1.25 (P < 0.001) and 4.10 to 2.10 (P < 0.001) in group B, respectively. The median survival time and 1-year survival rate after stenting were 1.6 months and 5.1%, respectively, in group A, and 5.6 months and 25.0%, respectively, in group B.

Conclusions: Airway stenting followed by adjuvant therapy may improve the survival of treatment-naïve patients with severe symptomatic airway obstruction caused by advanced lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Airway Obstruction / therapy*
  • Bronchial Diseases / therapy*
  • Constriction, Pathologic / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Stents* / adverse effects
  • Survival Rate
  • Tracheal Stenosis / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome