Endoscopic treatment of benign biliary strictures using covered self-expandable metal stents (CSEMS)

Shayan Irani, Todd H. Baron, Ali Akbar, Otto S. Lin, Michael Gluck, Ian Gan, Andrew S. Ross, Bret T. Petersen, Mark Topazian, Richard A. Kozarek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Traditional endoscopic management of benign biliary strictures (BBS) consists of placement of one or more plastic stents. Emerging data support the use of covered self-expandable metal stents (CSEMS). We sought to assess outcome of endoscopic temporary placement of CSEMS in patients with BBS. Methods: This was a retrospective study of CSEMS placement for BBS between May 2005 and July 2012 from two tertiary care centers. A total of 145 patients (81 males, median age 59 years) with BBS were identified; 73 of which were classified as extrinsic and were caused by chronic pancreatitis, and 70 were intrinsic. Main outcome measures were resolution of stricture and adverse events (AEs) due to self-expandable metal stents (SEMS)-related therapy. Results: Fully covered and partially covered 8-10 mm diameter SEMS were placed and subsequently removed in 121/125 (97 %) attempts in BBS (failure to remove four partially covered stents). Stricture resolution occurred in 83/125 (66 %) patients after a median stent duration of 26 weeks (median follow-up 90 weeks). Resolution of extrinsic strictures was significantly lower compared to intrinsic strictures (31/65, 48 % vs. 52/60, 87 %, p = 0.004) despite longer median stent duration (30 vs. 20 weeks). Thirty-seven AEs occurred in 25 patients (17 %), with 12 developing multiple AEs including cholangitis (n = 17), pancreatitis (n = 5), proximal stent migration (n = 3), cholecystitis (n = 2), pain requiring SEMS removal and/or hospitalization (n = 3), inability to remove (n = 4), and new stricture formation (n = 3). Conclusions: Benign biliary strictures can be effectively treated with CSEMS. Successful resolution of biliary strictures due to extrinsic disease is seen significantly less often than those due to intrinsic disease. Removal is successful in all patients with fully covered SEMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-160
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Benign biliary strictures
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Covered self-expandable metal stents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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