Multicenter Trial Evaluating the Use of Covered Self-expanding Metal Stents in Benign Biliary Strictures: Time to Revisit Our Therapeutic Options?

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Covered self-expanding metal stents are being used more frequently in benign biliary strictures (BBS). We report the results of a multicenter study with fully covered self-expanding metal stent (FCSEMS) placement for the management of BBS.


To prospectively evaluate the efficacy and safety of FCSEMS in the management of BBS.

Patients and Methods:

Patients with BBS from 6 tertiary care centers who received FCSEMS with flared ends between April 2009 and October 2010 were included in this retrospective study.

Patients and Methods:

Efficacy was measured after removal of FCSEMS by evaluating stricture resolution on the basis of symptom resolution, imaging, laboratory studies, and/or choledochoscopy at removal. Safety profile was evaluated by assessing postprocedural complications.


A total of 133 patients (78, 58.6% males) with a mean age of 59.2±14.8 years with BBS received stents. Of the 133 stents placed, 97 (72.9%) were removed after a mean stent duration of 95.5±48.7 days. Stricture resolution after FCSEMS removal was as follows: postsurgical, 11/12 (91.6%); gallstone-related disease, 16/19 (84.2%); chronic pancreatitis, 26/31 (80.7%); other etiology, 4/5 (80.0%); and anastomotic strictures, 19/31(61.2%). Ninety-four patients were included in the logistic regression analyses. Patients who had indwelling stents for >90 days were 4.3 times more likely to have resolved strictures [odds ratio, 4.3 (95% confidence interval, 1.24-15.09)] and patients with nonmigrated stents were 5.4 times more likely to have resolved strictures [odds ratio, 5.4 (95% confidence interval, 1.001-29.29)].


FCSEMS for BBS had an acceptable rate of stricture resolution for postsurgical strictures, gallstone-related strictures, and those due to chronic pancreatitis. Predictors for stricture resolution include longer indwell time and absence of migration. Further study is warranted to assess long-term efficacy in a prospective manner with longer than 3-month time of stent indwelling time.

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