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Lung Cancer. 2003 Oct;42(1):113-7.

Bronchoscopic insertion of Gianturco stents for the palliation of malignant lung disease: 10 year experience.

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The Liverpool Lung Cancer Unit, The Cardiothoracic Centre, Thomas Drive, Liverpool L14 3PE, UK.


Malignant large airway obstruction is life threatening and may not be amenable to urgent radiotherapy. Palliative airway stenting is difficult and traditionally carried out under general anaesthesia and fluoroscopy. We have shown that self expanding Gianturco metal stents can be placed under local anaesthesia using fibreoptic bronchoscopy and direct vision for the treatment of malignant airway tumours, and report our 10 year experience. All referrals for stenting referred to our unit between 1990 and 1999 were included, looking for histological type, number and site of stents, complications of the procedure, other interventions, and survival. One hundred and sixty two patients (average age 64 years, (range 21-89)) had 307 stents inserted during 167 procedures (144 primary lung tumours, 18 secondary malignancy). There were no operative deaths, but three patients developed a pneumothorax, one requiring intercostal drain insertion. Average survival following stent insertion was less for primary lung cancer than for secondary disease (103 vs. 431 days, P<0.001). There were no excess complications in a subgroup of 64 patients treated locally by oncologists, even when stenting was the primary procedure. This technique is useful in palliating life threatening airway obstruction, particularly for secondary cancer, and can be used in any centre undertaking fibreoptic bronchoscopy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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