Article Abstract

Clinical assessment of airway stent placement in patients with malignant airway lesions

Authors: Sha Huang, Jinming Xu, Zhou An, Ping Yuan, Huiling Xu, Wang Lv, Jian Hu


Background: Airway stent placement has been proven as a satisfactory treatment of advanced malignant airway lesions. However, stent-related complications could impact the therapeutic effect of this treatment. This study aimed to assess the application of airway stents, including the clinical effects, and to explore high-risk factors for stent-related complications.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study of lung cancer (LC) patients and esophageal cancer (EC) patients was conducted at our center. Patients who received stent placement for malignant airway lesions from January 2014 to July 2017 were included in the study. Patient clinical status and stent-related complications, including granulation tissue formation, restenosis, atelectasis, migration, mucous plugging and infection were comprehensively analyzed.
Results: Fifty-six symptomatic patients who underwent 66 stent procedures were included. There was an immediate relief of symptoms after stent placement, and the Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) scores significantly improved (56.67±23.52 versus 79.05±20.71; P<0.001). Among all the patients, general anesthesia (P=0.038) and pre-stent non-surgical therapy (P=0.048) were risk factors for granulation. A Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) <3 (P=0.008) and a procedure duration time >110 min (P=0.005) were associated with an increased risk of restenosis. Stent placement only in the main trachea (P=0.049) increased the risk of stent migration. Stent placement in the carina or upper airways (P=0.041) increased the risk of mucous plugging. The stent length (>60 mm) had a direct correlation with both mucous plugging in LC patients (P=0.003) and granulation tissue formation in EC patients (P=0.019).
Conclusions: Airway stent placement immediately and significantly improved the clinical symptoms for patients with advanced malignant airway lesions. High-risk factors for different stent-related complications were identified, which provided evidence for further clinical improvement with airway stents.