Background and study aims: In patients with primary esophageal cancer, luminal patency can be restored by placement of a self-expandable metal stent (SEMS). The use of SEMS in patients with dysphagia caused by malignant extrinsic compression has largely been unreported. In this study we evaluated the efficacy of SEMS in a large cohort of patients with malignant extrinsic compression. Patients and methods: This was a prospective single-center study. Between 1995 and 2009, 50 consecutive patients with malignant extrinsic compression who had undergone SEMS placement were included (mean age 64 years; 37-males). In the majority of patients, extrinsic esophageal compression was caused by obstructive pulmonary cancer (n=23) and by mediastinal metastasis after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer (n=16). Results: Stent placement was technically successful in all patients. Severe complications occurred in 5/50 patients (10%) including perforation during dilation prior to stent insertion (n=2) and hemorrhage (n=3). Two patients (4%) died from bleeding. Mild complications were seen in 9/50 patients (18%). Recurrent dysphagia occurred in eight patients (16%) and was successfully managed by subsequent endoscopic intervention. Median survival after stent placement was 44 days (range 5 days2 years). The median stent patency of 46 days in this series exceeded median patient survival. Conclusions: Insertion of an SEMS is an effective palliative treatment for patients with dysphagia due to malignant extrinsic compression. In spite of the short survival, some patients present with recurrent dysphagia, which can be managed effectively by endoscopic re-intervention.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Heel, N., Haringsma, J., Spaander, M., Bruno, M., & Kuipers, E. (2010). Esophageal stents for the relief of malignant dysphagia due to extrinsic compression. Endoscopy, 42(7), 536–540. doi:10.1055/s-0029-1244123