Fully Covered Self-Expandable Metal Stent in Tracheobronchial Disorders: Clinical Experience

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The third-generation fully covered self-expandable metallic stent (SEMS) has been developed to solve the problems of difficult removal and in-stent granuloma formation related to the uncovered or partially covered type. There are few written reports about the performance of this type of stents with early encouraging results.


To report and analyse our experience with the Silmet® stent in the management of malignant and benign tracheobronchial disorders.


We retrospectively reviewed medical records of patients who underwent fully covered SEMS Silmet placement at the Interventional Pulmonology Unit, La Maddalena Cancer Center, Palermo, Italy, between May 2010 and August 2013.


Stents were placed in 52 patients with malignant (n = 49) and benign airway obstruction (n = 2) and broncho-oesophageal fistula (n = 1). SEMSs were inserted into the trachea (n = 19), the main bronchi (n = 21) and the peripheral bronchi (n = 31). Besides 1 procedural dislocation, the deployment was successful in all patients with an immediate significant improvement of symptoms (Barthel Index p < 0.001; Medical Research Council score p < 0.001). A radiographic improvement was detected in 48% of patients. The mean follow-up duration was 119 ± 120 days (range 22–549 days). Complications observed were: migration (7.6%), tumour overgrowth (15%), infections (5.7%), granulation tissue formation (3.8%) and mucus plug (3.8%).


The Silmet stent is effective, safe and simple to implant and remove. We suggest its use in cases of tight stenoses, in the treatment of small- to medium-caliber airways or in cases of tortuous airways.


© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel

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