Management of large bowel obstruction with self-expanding metal stents. A multicentre retrospective study of factors determining outcome

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Abstract

Aim

UK cancer guidelines recommend patients with colonic obstruction due to suspected malignancy be considered for stenting with a self-expanding metal stent (SEMS). Considerable variation in practice exists due to a lack of expertise, technical difficulties and other, as yet ill-defined features. This retrospective multi-centre study aims to determine the outcome following colonic stenting for large bowel obstruction and identify factors associated with successful intervention.

Method

A regional programme of colonic stenting for large bowel obstruction, in five UK centres from 2005 to 2010 was evaluated for outcome including technical and clinical success, survival, complications and reoperation.

Results

A SEMS was inserted in 334 patients, including 264 (79.0%) for palliation and 52 (15.6%) as a bridge to surgery. Technical success was achieved in 292 (87.4%) patients, with 46 (13.8%) experiencing a complication or technical failure. Reoperation was required in 39 (14.8%) patients stented for palliation of colorectal cancer of whom 16 (6.1%) subsequently required a colostomy. A one-stage primary anastomosis was achieved in 35 (67.3%) of the 52 patients undergoing stenting as a bridge to resection. Technical success did not vary by indication or site of obstruction (P = 0.60) but was higher for operators who had performed more than 10 procedures (OR 3.34, P = 0.001). ASA grade ≥3 predicted a worse clinical outcome (OR 0.43, P = 0.04). The through-the-scope (TTS) endoscopy technique was more successful than radiological placement alone (90.3% vs 74.8%, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

Experienced operators using a TTS technique achieved a better outcome for the emergency management of large bowel obstruction. Older, sicker patients and those with extracolonic and benign strictures fared less well.

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