Background and study aim: Fully covered, self-expandable metal stents (FCSEMSs) are acceptable tools for treating benign biliary stricture (BBS). However, little is known about the long-term outcomes of this technique. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the procedural and long-term outcomes of FCSEMSs for treating BBSs.
Patients and methods: A total of 134 consecutive patients (median age 56 years; range 21 - 83) with BBS were retrospectively reviewed. The main outcomes were technical and clinical success, stricture resolution, recurrence, and adverse events. Outcomes were analyzed by reviewing patient medical records.
Results: The success rates of FCSEMS placement and removal were 99.3 % and 98.2 %, respectively. Stricture resolution occurred in 103/132 (78.0 %) of the patients (median stent duration, 93 days; range 1 - 489). The associated factors for stricture resolution were longer stent indwelling period (≥ 120 days) and absence of stent migration. Stricture recurrence was seen in 26/103 patients (25.2 %; 95 % confidence interval [CI] 0.17 - 0.34) within a median of 390 days (range 4 - 903 days). Chronic pancreatitis was associated with stricture recurrence (hazard ratio [HR] 2.59, 95 %CI 1.20 - 5.61; P = 0.02). Stent migration occurred in 41/132 patients (31.1 %; 95 %CI 0.23 - 0.39). The FCSEMS with anchoring flaps appeared to protect against stent migration (HR 0.22, 95 %CI 0.08 - 0.63; P < 0.01).
Conclusion: FCSEMSs had a high success rate for BBS resolution. Longer indwelling periods and the absence of stent migration might be important factors for stricture resolution.
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