Sequential or Simultaneous Placement of Self-expandable Metallic Stents for Palliation of Malignant Biliary and Duodenal Obstruction Due to Unresectable Pancreatic Head Carcinoma

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BackgroundPancreatic cancer is generally not amenable to curative resection, and self-expanding metallic stents have been used to relieve obstruction of bile duct and duodenum in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer. However, both relative experience with sequential or simultaneous endoscopic stents placement in biliary and duodenal stricture and long-term efficacy of these stents are limited. The aim of this study was to present our experience on the effectiveness of this form of endoscopic treatment.Patients and MethodsWe performed a retrospective review of all patients undergoing sequential or simultaneous biliary and duodenal stent placement for biliary and symptomatic duodenal obstruction due to unresectable pancreatic head carcinomas in 4 tertiary endoscopic centers. Data were collected from endoscopy and outpatient clinic reports, x-rays, and telephone calls. All patients were followed until their death. Endpoints included technical and clinical success, stent long-term patency, and survival.ResultsThirty-nine patients with unresectable pancreatic head cancer were included. Biliary or duodenal stenting was unsuccessful in 7 patients (17.9%). The remaining 32 patients (median age: 77 y; range: 52 to 82 y), with locally advanced (n=21) or metastatic disease (n=11), were studied. Twenty-one patients (65.6%) received at least first-line chemotherapy. Overall median survival was 9 months (range: 2 to 22 mo), being higher in locally advanced (median survival: 11.5 mo, range: 4 to 22 mo) than metastatic disease (median survival: 3 mo, range: 2 to 5.5 mo) (P<0.001). Median duodenal and biliary patency was 3 months (range: 1 to 12 mo) and 9 months (range: 2 to 22 mo), respectively (P<0.05). Nine of 32 patients (28.1%) required reintervention for recurrent symptoms. No major complications or death occurred in relation to endoscopic treatment.ConclusionsPlacement of self-expandable metal stents is a safe and efficacious palliation method for biliary and duodenal obstruction due to unresectable pancreatic head carcinoma. The majority of patients do not require reintervention and those who require can usually be managed nonoperatively.

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