, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 433-438
Date: 07 Feb 2006

Percutaneous insertion of Zilver stent in malignant biliary obstruction

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We evaluated the clinical efficacy and technical feasibility of the percutaneously inserted self-expandable nitinol stent (Zilver stent) for palliation of malignant biliary obstruction.


Seventeen patients with malignant tumors involving the intra- or extrahepatic bile duct who presented with obstructive jaundice underwent percutaneous insertion of a self-expandable nitinol stent. We retrospectively reviewed the hospital records of patients and evaluated the technical feasibility on stent placement, complications, patient survival, and duration of stent patency.


Percutaneous biliary stenting with 27 Zilver stents was performed in 17 patients with malignant biliary obstruction. Technical success was 95%. Malposition of the stent was encountered in one patient. Minor technical problems were encountered in two patients: the introducer tip was broken during stent insertion, so endoscopic removal was done. Mean follow-up period for the 17 patients was 182 days (range 29–485 days): nine patients died of progressive disease at a mean follow-up of 151 days (range 61–371days) after stent insertion and eight patients remained alive at the final follow-up of 216 days (range 29–485 days). The median survival period for all patients was 277 days. The stent occlusion rate was 26% and the mean patency period was 280 days. In five patients, seven stents were obstructed by tumor ingrowth and overgrowth. Stent patency rates were 100%, 100%, 75%, 61%, and 41% at 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. A late complication, erosive bleeding of the hepatic artery by the stent, developed in one patient.


Percutaneous biliary stenting using the nitinol stent is technically feasible and safe and clinically efficacious treatment for malignant biliary obstruction, even with a minor technical problem during stent insertion.

An erratum to this article can be found online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00261-011-9714-0