Silicone-covered self-expanding metallic stents for the palliation of malignant esophageal obstruction and esophagorespiratory fistulas: experience in 32 patients and a review of the literature

Gastrointest Endosc. Jan-Feb 1994;40(1):22-33. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(94)70005-2.


Esophagogastric malignancies often are manifested with progressive dysphagia or esophagorespiratory fistulas. Palliative modalities currently available have significant limitations. A modified Gianturco-Rösch silicone-covered self-expanding metallic Z stent was used in 32 consecutive patients with malignant esophageal obstruction (n = 24) or esophagorespiratory fistulas (n = 8). The stent was placed successfully in all patients. Dysphagia improved by at least two grades in 21 of the 24 patients (87.5%); the mean dysphagia grade fell from 3.21 to 1.08. Six of the 8 patients with fistulas were able to resume a normal diet, and the other 2 were able to eat solids without symptoms of aspiration. Complications occurred in 10/32 patients (31%) and included stent migration (4 patients), food impaction (2 patients), membrane disruption with tumor ingrowth (1 patient), tumor overgrowth (1 patient), early pressure necrosis with hemorrhage (1 patient), and late pressure necrosis with sepsis (1 patient). The latter 2 patients died, giving a mortality rate of 6.3%. Many complications were managed with endoscopic or interventional radiologic techniques. Although randomized prospective clinical trials are needed, the silicone-covered Gianturco-Rösch Z stent offers promise for the effective palliation of malignant esophageal obstruction and esophagorespiratory fistulas.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchial Fistula / therapy*
  • Deglutition Disorders / therapy
  • Esophageal Fistula / therapy*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Esophageal Stenosis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Silicones
  • Stainless Steel
  • Stents* / adverse effects


  • Silicones
  • Stainless Steel