Long-term outcome of palliative therapy for malignant colorectal obstruction in patients with unresectable metastatic colorectal cancers: endoscopic stenting versus surgery

Gastrointest Endosc. 2011 Mar;73(3):535-42. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2010.10.052. Epub 2011 Jan 22.


Background: Self-expandable metal stents (SEMSs) provide a promising alternative for initial palliation of malignant bowel obstruction. However, data on the long-term outcomes of SEMSs are limited.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the long-term outcomes of endoscopic stenting with those of surgery for palliation in patients with incurable obstructive colorectal cancer. DESIGNS AND SETTING: A retrospective study.

Patients: From January 2000 to December 2008, patients with incurable obstructive colorectal cancer who were treated with SEMSs (n = 71) or palliative surgery (n = 73) were reviewed.

Interventions: SEMS placement by using through-the-endoscope methods or surgery.

Main outcome measurements: Success rates and complication rates.

Results: Early success rates in the SEMS group and those in the surgery group were not different (95.8% vs 100%, P = .12), and the SEMS group had fewer early complications than the surgery group (15.5% vs 32.9%, P = .015). Although the patency duration of the first stent in the SEMS group was shorter than that in the surgery group (P < .001), the median patency duration after a second stenting was comparable to that of the surgery group (P = .239). There were more late complications in the SEMS group than in the surgery group (P = .028), but the rates of major complications did not differ between the 2 groups (P = .074).

Limitations: Retrospective and single-center study.

Conclusions: SEMSs were not only an effective and acceptable therapy for initial palliation of malignant colorectal obstruction, but they also showed long-term efficacy comparable to that with surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colon / surgery
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / complications
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents / adverse effects*
  • Survival Rate
  • Time
  • Treatment Outcome