BACKGROUND: Some esophageal strictures resist endoscopic treatments. There is a need for new treatments, such as specifically designed stents.
OBJECTIVE: Our study sought to compare the results achieved with a standard, fully covered metallic stent (FCMS) and those achieved using a stent designed specifically for benign strictures (BS-FCMS).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study used a prospective, multicenter, controlled design, with patients recruited from tertiary referral centers. Patients with refractory esophageal strictures were included. Standard FCMS were used in group 1 (N = 24), and BS-FCMS were used in group 2 (N = 17). Patients were followed for 24 months after stent removal. The main outcomes measured were stricture resolution rate, 24 months' recurrence rate and stent-related morbidity.
RESULTS: Early stent migrations occurred in one (4.1%) patient from group 1 and five (29.4%) from group 2 (p < 0.05). During esophageal stenting, complications occurred in six patients (25%) in group 1 and six patients (35.3%) in group 2 (p = 0.47), respectively. Fifty percent of complications were attributed to migration. There was no procedure-related morbidity associated with the extraction of the stent. The stricture resolution rate was, respectively, 95.2% in group 1 and 87.5% in group 2 (the difference between the two groups is not significant). During follow-up, stricture recurrence occurred in 15/19 patients (group 1, 79%) and 7/8 patients (group 2, 87.5%; p = 1.0). The median time to recurrence of esophageal stricture was 1.7 months (group 1, 0.6-12 months) and 1 month (group 2, 0.1-6 months). Study limitations include its nonrandomized design.
CONCLUSION: The stricture resolution rate was high at the end of the stenting period for both types of stents without any statistical difference between the two groups, but the long-term results were disappointing, with stricture recurring frequently and rapidly in both groups.