CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 66–73 | Cite as

A Survival Analysis of Patients with Malignant Biliary Strictures Treated by Percutaneous Metallic Stenting

  • Elias N. BrountzosEmail author
  • Nikolaos Ptochis
  • Irene Panagiotou
  • Katerina Malagari
  • Chara Tzavara
  • Dimitrios Kelekis



Percutaneous metal stenting is an accepted palliative treatment for malignant biliary obstruction. Nevertheless, factors predicting survival are not known.


Seventy-six patients with inoperable malignant biliary obstruction were treated with percutaneous placement of metallic stents. Twenty patients had non-hilar lesions. Fifty-six patients had hilar lesions classified as Bismuth type I (n = 15 patients), type II (n = 26), type III (n = 12), or type IV (n = 3 patients). Technical and clinical success rates, complications, and long-term outcome were recorded. Clinical success rates, patency, and survival rates were compared in patients treated with complete (n = 41) versus partial (n = 35) liver parenchyma drainage. Survival was calculated and analyzed for potential predictors such as the tumor type, the extent of the disease, the level of obstruction, and the post-intervention bilirubin levels.


Stenting was technically successful in all patients (unilateral drainage in 70 patients, bilateral drainage in 6 patients) with an overall significant reduction of the post-intervention bilirubin levels (p < 0.001), resulting in a clinical success rate of 97.3%. Clinical success rates were similar in patients treated with whole-liver drainage versus partial liver drainage. Minor and major complications occurred in 8% and 15% of patients, respectively. Mean overall primary stent patency was 120 days, while the restenosis rate was 12%. Mean overall secondary stent patency was 242.2 days. Patency rates were similar in patients with complete versus partial liver drainage. Mean overall survival was 142.3 days. Survival was similar in the complete and partial drainage groups. The post-intervention serum bilirubin level was an independent predictor of survival (p < 0.001). A cut-off point in post-stenting bilirubin levels of 4 mg/dl dichotomized patients with good versus poor prognosis. Patient age and Bismuth IV lesions were also independent predictors of survival.


Percutaneous metallic biliary stenting provides good palliation of malignant jaundice. Partial liver drainage achieved results as good as those after complete liver drainage. A serum bilirubin level of less than 4 mg/dl after stenting is the most important independent predictor of survival, while increasing age and Bismuth IV lesions represent dismal prognostic factors.


Malignant biliary obstruction Metal stents Survival 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elias N. Brountzos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nikolaos Ptochis
    • 1
  • Irene Panagiotou
    • 1
  • Katerina Malagari
    • 1
  • Chara Tzavara
    • 2
  • Dimitrios Kelekis
    • 1
  1. 1.2nd Department of RadiologyAthens University School of Medicine, Attikon University HospitalAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Hygiene and EpidemiologyAthens University School of MedicineAthensGreece

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