Multiple Bifurcated Covered Self-Expanding Metallic Stents for Complex Tracheobronchial Fistulas or Stenosis
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We aimed to determine the safety and feasibility of bifurcated covered self-expanding stents for the treatment of complex tracheobronchial fistulas or stenosis.
Twenty-eight patients were treated by multiple bifurcated covered airway stents (Micro-Tech Co. Ltd., Nanjing, China), including 18 cases of gastrobronchial or gastrotracheal fistula, 6 cases of bronchopleural fistula and 4 cases of severe tracheobronchial stenosis. The large bifurcated covered stent was placed at the main carina, and the small stents were inserted into primary right carina or secondary left carina. Clinical and imaging data were retrospectively analyzed.
Stents were successfully inserted in 27 patients at the first attempt. In total, 29 large bifurcated covered stents, 27 small bifurcated covered stents and 5 small bifurcated covered single-plugged stents were inserted. All patients with fistula could resume eating without coughing after the procedure. No perioperative death or severe complications occurred. Two patients underwent stent removal due to intolerance of stenting; the clinical success rate was 93% (26/28). Nineteen complications were found in 12 patients; 8 patients needed stent removal or replacement, for a major complication rate of 29% (8/28). Eight patients underwent successful stent removal due to complications. Fifteen patients died of tumors and one patient died of pulmonary infection. The median survival was 33 months. Fistula recurrence was found in one patient 5 months after stenting, and second small bifurcated covered stent was inserted.
Multiple bifurcated covered metallic stenting is effective and safe for complex tracheobronchial fistulas or stenosis, with good symptom palliation.
KeywordsRespiratory tract fistula Tracheal stenosis Stents Fluoroscopy Postoperative complications
This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81501569). This study was approved by the Ethics Committee and Medical Records Management Section of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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