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Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2005 May-Jun;28(3):284-8.

Quality improvement guidelines for placement of esophageal stents.

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Department of Interventional Radiology, Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital Trust, London, UK.


Esophageal cancer is now the sixth leading cause of death from cancer worldwide. During the past three decades, important changes have occurred in the epidemiologic patterns associated with this disease. Due to the distensible characteristics of the esophagus, patients may not recognize any symptoms until 50% of the luminal diameter is compromised, explaining why cancer of the esophagus is generally associated with late presentation and poor prognosis. Esophageal cancer has a poor outcome, with an overall 5 year survival rate of less than 10%, and fewer than 50% of patients are suitable for resection at presentation. As a result palliation is the best option in this group of patients. The aims of palliation are maintenance of oral intake, minimizing hospital stay, relief of pain, elimination of reflux and regurgitation, and prevention of aspiration. For palliative care, current treatment options include thermal ablation, photodynamic therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, chemical injection therapy, argon beam or bipolar electrocoagulation therapy, enteral feeding (nasogastric tube/percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy), and intubation (self-expanding metal stents (SEMS) or semi-rigid prosthetic tubes) with different success and complications rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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