Long-term Outcome of Short Metallic Stents for Lobar Airway Stenosis

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Background:Whereas stents are considered an excellent treatment for proximal central major airway stenosis, the value of stenting for distal lobar airway stenosis is still controversial. Our aim was to explore the short-term and long-term outcome of metallic stents placed for benign and malignant lobar airway stenosis.Methods:Between July 2007 and July 2014, 14 patients underwent small airway stent insertion. The clinical follow-up included serial semiannual physical examinations, pulmonary function tests, imaging, and bronchoscopy.Results:The etiologies for airway stenosis were: early post-lung transplantation bronchial stenosis (N=5), sarcoidosis (N=1), amyloidosis (N=1), anthracofibrosis (N=1), right middle lobe syndrome due to external lymph node compression (N=1), lung cancer (N=4), and stenosis of the left upper lobe of unknown etiology (N=1). Stents were placed in the right upper lobe bronchus (N=2), right middle lobe bronchus (N=6), left upper lobe bronchus (N=4), linguar bronchus (N=1), and left lower lobe bronchus (N=1). The median follow-up period ranged from 2 to 72 months (median 18 mo). Immediate relief of symptoms was achieved in the vast majority of patients (13/14, 92%). Out of 10 patients with benign etiology for stenosis, 9 (90%) experienced sustained and progressive improvement in pulmonary function tests and clinical condition.Conclusions:We describe our positive experience with small stents for lobar airway stenosis; further prospective trials are required to evaluate the value of this novel modality of treatment.

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