BACKGROUND: Endoscopic placement of SEMSs for malignant hilar biliary strictures (MHBS) is well-established palliative treatment for inoperable patients. Objectives of this study were evaluation of survival and stents patency after placement of multiple SEMS for palliation of complex MHBS.
METHODS: Retrospective review of patients with MHBS that underwent ERCP with insertion of multiple SEMSs for palliation. Survival-associated factors and stents patency were analyzed by Cox multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: Between January 1998 and January 2015, 740 patients with nonoperable MHBS that underwent ERCP were identified and only 18.2% of these received multiple SEMSs. Complications were observed in 7.5% of the patients with no procedure-related mortality. Palliative therapies (chemotherapy, external beam radiotherapy and high dose rate brachytherapy) were done in some patients, and outcomes were evaluated. Overall mean survival of the 134 patients was 323 days. Of these, 59% did not had stents malfunction while 41% patients had episodes of SEMSs malfunction and mean survival after re-interventions was 502.9 days. Survival was not influenced by type of tumor, sex or age.
CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic multiple SEMSs placement is safe and effective in patients with complex MHBS. Survival is independent from the type and complexity of MHBS while is prolonged in patients undergoing HDR brachytherapy. Prompt recognition of SEMSs malfunction is fundamental for survival.