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Eur Radiol. 2003 May;13(5):1172-8. Epub 2003 Feb 7.

Follow-up after stent insertion in the tracheobronchial tree: role of helical computed tomography in comparison with fiberoptic bronchoscopy.

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Service Central de Radiologie et Imagerie M├ędicale, INSERM EMI 9924, CHU, BP 217, 38043, Grenoble Cedex 9, France.


The aim of this study was to compare helical CT with fiberoptic bronchoscopy findings to appraise the medium-term results of proximal-airways stenting. Twenty-five patients with 28 endobronchial metallic stents inserted for local advanced malignancy ( n=13) or benign diseases ( n=12) underwent follow-up CT from 3 days to 50 months (mean 8 months). All studies were obtained using helical CT with subsequent multiplanar reformation and three-dimensional reconstruction including virtual bronchoscopy. The location, shape, and patency of stents and adjacent airway were assessed. The results of CT were compared with the results of fiberoptic bronchoscopy obtained with a mean delay of 2.5 days (SD 9 days) after CT scan. Twelve stents (43%) remained in their original position, patent and without deformity. Sixteen stents were associated with local complications: migration ( n=6); external compression with persistent stenosis ( n=4); local recurrence of malignancy ( n=4); fracture ( n=1); and non-congruence between the airway and the stent ( n=1). The CT demonstrated all the significant abnormalities demonstrated at fiberoptic bronchoscopy except two moderate stenoses (20%) related to granulomata at the origin of the stent. Ten of 14 stents inserted for benign conditions were without complications as compared with 2 of 14 in malignant conditions ( p=0.008). Computed tomography is an accurate noninvasive method for evaluating endobronchial stents. The CT is a useful technique for follow-up of patients who have undergone endobronchial stenting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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