During a four-year period up to May 1993, 118 patients (mean age 69 years) with malignant bile duct stenoses were treated with a total of 127 selfexpanding 10-mm metal endoprostheses (Wallstent), most of them endoscopically (n = 102). Technical problems during and shortly after implantation occurred in five cases (4.2%), but could all be solved endoscopically. Serum bilirubin decreased from a mean of 8.0 mg/dl at presentation to a mean of 2.0 mg/dl after stenting. Nineteen patients died within the first three months (5% within the first 30 days); recurrent obstruction, as manifested by recurrent jaundice or cholangitis, or both, was encountered in 14%. Fifty-one patients who survived longer were followed up until death or for a minimum of 12 months (mean follow-up: 12 months). Stent patency rates in this group were 86% (six months), 72% (12 months) and 64% (18 months), survival for these time periods being 63%, 35% and 17%, respectively. No significant stent-related complications were noted; stent occlusion occurred in 12% of patients after a mean of 168 days, and was successfully managed endoscopically (thermal cleaning, implantation of further stents) in all cases. We conclude from our long-term follow-up data that patients surviving longer than three months are the ones most likely to benefit from Wallstent insertion for malignant jaundice.