Background: The long-term efficacy of sequential insertion of multiple plastic stents for benign biliary strictures is poorly defined. The aims of this study were to evaluate the long-term outcome (bile duct patency, complications) of this therapy and to identify predictors of a good outcome. Methods: Retrospective review of 29 cases of benign biliary strictures treated with sequential plastic stent insertion in progressively increasing numbers and/or of increasing diameter. Results: Stricture etiology was as follows: postoperative 19 (66%), chronic pancreatitis 9 (31%), and idiopathic 1 (3%). Therapy succeeded in 18 patients (62%) (mean follow-up 48.0 [11.56] months after stent removal). Therapy failed in 11 patients (38%) (mean interval to failure 11.59 [9.79] months after stent removal). The 2 groups of patients in which therapy failed had either a hilar stricture (n = 4, 25% success) or distal common bile duct stricture caused by chronic pancreatitis (n = 9, 44% success). In the remaining cases, therapy succeeded in 13 of 16 (81% success). The observed differences in success rate among subgroups were not statistically significant. There were no ERCP-related deaths. One episode of mild pancreatitis and 2 episodes of cholangitis developed during 126 ERCPs over a period of stent insertion of 36 patient years. Conclusions: In selected patients with benign biliary strictures, sequential endoscopic insertion of multiple biliary stents may lead to long-term success that could be equal to or superior to surgery with minimal morbidity. Hilar strictures and those caused by chronic pancreatitis appear to respond poorly to this therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging