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Respirology. 2003 Dec;8(4):522-4.

Examination of expandable metallic stent removed at autopsy.

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Internal Medicine, Nihon University Nerima Hikarigaoka Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.



We evaluated the damage to expandable metallic stents (EMS) based upon analysis of EMS removed at autopsy.


Seventeen EMS were obtained during autopsy from the main bronchi of nine patients with lung cancer. Each EMS was categorized into one of the following three groups, according to the degree of EMS damage: no damage at all (ND), damage to part of the EMS (PD), and marked damage (MD) that caused loss of function of the airway stent. The removed EMS were examined using a scanning electron microscope.


Of the 17 stents, ND occurred in 13 (7/9 primary, 6/8 secondary), PD in four (all secondary), and MD in none. None of the stents had completely lost the ability to function as an airway stent. Bacterial biofilm formation (BBF) was detected on EMS from four patients.


Bacterial biofilm forms on EMS implanted into the airway. Some physical damage was present in four of 17 EMS, but all remained functional.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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