Use of Fully Covered Self-expanding Metal Biliary Stents in Pediatrics: A Case Series

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Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is used to manage biliary pathology in pediatric patients. Plastic biliary stents have been used in this population for obstructive lesions and bile leaks; however, they are sometimes not effective due to migration, occlusion, or ineffective sealing. Fully covered self-expanding metal stents (FCSEMS) have larger diameters making them more suitable for some situations. Their use in pediatrics has, however, not been defined. The aim of the present study is to describe our experience with FCSEMS at our institution.


We present a series of all patients who underwent FCSEMS placement at Children's Hospital Colorado including 3 adolescents and 1 young adult with complex medical needs.


Patient age range was 12 to 24 years and the weight ranged between 36 and 75 kg. All patients underwent previous endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and 1 or more rounds of plastic stenting without adequate clinical response before consideration of FCSEMS placement. Indications included recalcitrant biliary anastomotic stricture after liver transplant, persistent bile leak after needle perforation, recurrent obstructive choledocholithiasis after cholecystectomy, and malignant biliary stricture. Sizes of FCSEMS depended on patient bile duct size and biliary pathology. Dwell time was 6 to 8 weeks. Three patients had resolution of biliary pathology after FCSEMS therapy. One patient had distal migration of FCSEMS necessitating repeat stenting. There were no adverse events from FCSEMS placement or removal.


FCSEMS therapy should be considered in appropriate pediatric patients when plastic biliary stents are not effective. Further studies are needed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of FCSEMS in the pediatric age group.

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