Purpose: To evaluate therapeutic effects and complications of a covered Gianturco stent for esophagorespiratory fistulae.
Materials and methods: Of 95 patients with esophageal carcinomas, 10 had esophagorespiratory fistulae and were treated with a silicone-covered Gianturco stent. The authors retrospectively assessed patients' food intake capacity and delayed problem of the stent.
Results: All fistulae were occluded without immediate complications. Two patients could swallow all foods; four, most foods; three soft foods; and one, only liquids. Clinical problems occurred between 1 and 24 weeks in four patients: reopened fistula (n = 1), recurrent fistula (n = 1) (both patients were successfully treated with another esophageal stent), and dyspnea (n = 2) due to tracheal compression by stent and tracheal invasion by tumor (one patient was treated with a tracheal stent).
Conclusion: A silicone-covered modified Gianturco stent is effective for palliation of esophagorespiratory fistulae caused by esophageal cancer. Simultaneous use of a tracheal stent is recommended for extrinsic tracheal narrowing by the proximal tip of the stent and invasion by tumor.