Purpose: To describe the authors' experience with self-expandable covered metallic stents in 16 patients with malignant and benign cervical esophageal strictures. Materials and Methods: Sixteen expandable covered metallic stents were placed with fluoroscopic guidance in 16 patients (14 men, two women; mean age, 60 years; age range, 26-75 years) with malignant and benign strictures of the cervical esophagus. The causes of strictures were ingestion of corrosive agents (n = 3), biopsy-proved squamous cell carcinoma (n = 12), and postsurgical scarring (n = 1). The mean dysphagia scores at presentation were compared with those after stent placement by using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results: Stent placement was technically successful in all patients. The reduction in the mean dysphagia score after stent placement was statistically significant (P = .0327). All patients complained of mild to severe foreign body sensation, with four reporting severe pain necessitating immediate stent removal. With the exception of one patient with limited follow-up, complications requiring intervention occurred in all patients, including migration in nine patients and tissue hyperproliferation in two. Of the 12 patients with a malignant stricture of the esophagus, four patients eventually underwent gastrostomy for the placement of a feeding tube and one patient underwent surgery. All four patients with a benign cervical stricture failed to achieve long-lasting improvement with temporary stent placement. Conclusions: Although the placement of covered metallic stents in the cervical esophagus provides adequate initial palliation, it is associated with poor patient tolerance and a high complication rate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine