Low symptomatic premature stent occlusion of multiple plastic stents for benign biliary strictures: comparing standard and prolonged stent change intervals

Gastrointest Endosc. 2010 Sep;72(3):558-63. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2010.05.029. Epub 2010 Jul 16.


Background: Benign biliary strictures are typically managed endoscopically whereby an increasing size or number of plastic stents is placed at ERCP. Stents are often changed every 3 to 4 months based on the known median patency of a single biliary stent, but patency data for multiple biliary stents are lacking.

Objective: To assess the incidence of occlusion-free survival of multiple plastic biliary stents and the rate of premature occlusion if left in longer than 6 months.

Design: Retrospective.

Setting: Tertiary-care medical center (Charleston, SC).

Patients: Consecutive patients who received multiple plastic stents for benign nonhilar biliary strictures from 1994 to 2008 were identified.

Interventions: Exchange of multiple plastic biliary stents within 6 months (group 1) or 6 months or longer (group 2) after placement.

Main outcome measurements: Symptomatic stent occlusion.

Results: Seventy-nine patients with nonhilar extrahepatic benign biliary stricture underwent 125 ERCPs with multiple plastic biliary stents. Stents were scheduled for removal/exchange within 6 months in 52 patients (86 ERCPs) compared with after 6 months in 22 patients (26 ERCPs). The median interval between multiple stent placement and removal/exchange was 90 days for group 1 and 242 days for group 2. Premature stent occlusion occurred in 4 of 52 (7.7%) patients in group 1 versus 1 of 22 (4.5%) in group 2, with significantly longer occlusion-free survival in group 2 (log-rank P < .0001).

Limitations: Retrospective study at a single tertiary referral center.

Conclusion: Multiple plastic biliary stents for benign nonhilar strictures were associated with a low rate of premature symptomatic stent occlusion at more than 6 months and a longer occlusion-free survival.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde
  • Cholestasis, Extrahepatic / etiology
  • Cholestasis, Extrahepatic / therapy*
  • Equipment Failure Analysis*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plastics*
  • Retreatment
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Stents*


  • Plastics