Endoscopic biliary drainage using metal stent (MSs) is an established palliative treatment for patients with unresectable malignant distal biliary obstruction (MDBO). However, a major drawback of MS is recurrent biliary obstruction (RBO). Uncovered MSs with a diameter of 14 mm (UMS-14) were developed to overcome this. We aimed to compare the clinical outcomes of UMS-14 with those of conventional covered MSs having a diameter of 10 mm (CMS-10).
Consecutive patients with MDBO caused by unresectable pancreatic cancer, who underwent UMS-14 or CMS-10 placement at two tertiary-care centers, were retrospectively examined according to the Tokyo Criteria 2014.
Two hundred and thirty-eight patients who underwent UMS-14 (the UMS-14 group, n = 80) or CMS-10 (the CMS-10 group, n = 158) over a 62-month period were included. The technical and clinical success rates were similar between the two groups. RBO occurred in 20 (25%) and 59 (37%) patients of the UMS-14 and CMS-10 groups, respectively (p = 0.06). Median time till RBO was significantly longer in the UMS-14 group than in the CMS-10 group (not reached vs. 290 days, p = 0.04). Multivariate analysis revealed that CMS-10 placement was an independent risk factor for RBO (hazard ratio: 1.66, 95% confidence interval: 1.00-2.76). The incidence of early complications, including pancreatitis, and the overall survival (UMS-14 vs. CMS-10: 169 vs. 167 days, p = 0.83) were comparable between the two groups.
UMS-14 stents were safe and effective for treating patients with MDBO secondary to unresectable pancreatic cancer. The insertion of UMS-14 is recommended, because it is less likely to get occluded as compared to CMS-10.