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Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Feb;105(2):258-73; quiz 274. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2009.684. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

Role of esophageal stents in benign and malignant diseases.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri 64128-2295, USA.


These recommendations provide an evidence-based approach to the role of esophageal stents in the management of benign and malignant diseases. These guidelines have been developed under the auspices of the American College of Gastroenterology and its Practice Parameters Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees. The following guidelines are based on a critical review of the available scientific literature on the topic identified in Medline and PubMed (January 1992-December 2008) using search terms that included stents, self-expandable metal stents, self-expandable plastic stents, esophageal cancer, esophageal adenocarcinoma, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, esophageal stricture, perforations, anastomotic leaks, tracheoesophageal fistula, and achalasia. These guidelines are intended for use by health-care providers and apply to adult, but not pediatric, patients. As with other practice guidelines, these guidelines are not intended to replace clinical judgment but rather to provide general guidelines applicable to the majority of patients. Clinicians need to integrate recommendations with their own clinical judgment, and with individual patient circumstances, values, and preferences. They are intended to be flexible, in contrast to standards of care, which are inflexible policies designed to be followed in every case. Specific recommendations are based on relevant published information. The quality of evidence and strength of recommendations have been assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system, which is a system that has been adopted by multiple national and international societies. The GRADE system is based on a sequential assessment of quality of evidence, followed by assessment of the balance between benefits vs. downsides (harms, burden, and costs) and subsequent judgment regarding the strength of recommendation.

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