Pancreatic Duct Changes in Patients With Chronic Pancreatitis Treated With Polyethylene and Sof-Flex Material Stents: A Blinded Comparison

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Pancreatic stenting is used to improve painful, obstructive chronic pancreatitis. Data suggest that polyethylene stents (PESs) cause stent-associated changes (SACs). Whether a stent composed of more flexible material (Sof-Flex stent [SFS]) is associated with less SAC is unknown.


This study is a retrospective study of patients who underwent pancreatic duct stenting of at least 1 PES and 1 SFS on separate examinations and had a follow-up pancreatogram at the time of stent removal. The main outcome measurements were assessed for SAC on follow-up pancreatogram and interpreted by 2 radiologists blinded to the clinical data.


Stent-associated changes were noted with 28% (13/47) of SFS and with 25% (13/52) of PES (P = 0.65). For 10F stent subgroups, SACs were seen with 25% (6/24) of the SFS compared with 50% (2/4) in the PES. Thirty percent (7/23) of the 8.5F SFS subgroup had SACs versus 29% (2/7) in the PES group (P = 0.887) for 8.5F + 10F combined comparison.


In patients who have had polyethylene or SFSs of varying sizes, approximately 1 in 4 have SACs. Despite the use of a softer stent material for therapeutic stenting, the rate of SACs in the 8.5F and 10F subgroups seems similar between the 2 materials and design.

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