Objective For palliation of extrahepatic bile duct obstruction, self-expandable metal stents (SEMS) are superior to plastic stents in terms of stent patency and occurrence of stent dysfunction. We assessed health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after stent placement to investigate whether this also results in a difference in HRQoL between patients treated with a plastic stent or SEMS.
Patients and methods This randomized multicenter trial included 219 patients who were randomized to receive plastic stent (n =73) or SEMS [uncovered (n= 75) and covered (n =71); n =146] placement. HRQoL was assessed with two general questionnaires (EQ-5D-3L and QLQ-C30) and one disease-specific questionnaire (PAN-26). Scores were analyzed using linear mixed model regression and included all patients with baseline and at least one follow-up measurement.
Results HRQoL data were available in 140 of 219 patients (64%); 71 patients (32%) declined participation and in eight patients (4%) only baseline questionnaires were available. On the QLQ-C30, the interaction between follow-up time and type of stent was significantly different on two of five functional scales [physical functioning (P= 0.004) and emotional functioning (P =0.01)] in favor of patients with a SEMS. In addition, patients with SEMS reported significantly less frequent symptoms of fatigue (P =0.01), loss of appetite (P= 0.02), and nausea and vomiting (0.04) over time. The EQ-VAS score decreased with time in both treatment groups, indicating a statistically significant decrease in HRQoL over time.
Conclusion In patients with inoperable malignant extrahepatic bile duct obstruction, SEMS placement results in better scores for general and disease-specific HRQoL over time compared with plastic stent placement.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Bile ducts, Cholestasis, Palliative care, Quality of life, Stents
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1097/MEG.0000000000000762, hdl.handle.net/1765/95160
Journal European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Walter, D, van Boeckel, P.G.A, Groenen, M.J.M, Weusten, B.L, Witteman, B.J.M, Tan, G, … Siersema, P.D. (2017). Higher quality of life after metal stent placement compared with plastic stent placement for malignant extrahepatic bile duct obstruction: A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 29(2), 231–237. doi:10.1097/MEG.0000000000000762