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Adv Ther. 2010 Oct;27(10):691-703. doi: 10.1007/s12325-010-0061-2. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Self-expandable metallic stents for malignant gastric outlet obstruction.

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Catholic University, Rome, Italy.


Duodenal self-expandable metal stents (SEMS) are designed for palliation and prompt relief of malignant gastric outlet obstruction (GOO). This mini-invasive endoscopic treatment is preferable to surgery due to its lower morbidity and mortality, shorter hospitalization, and earlier symptoms relief; furthermore endoscopic enteral stenting can be performed under conscious sedation, reducing the risk of general anesthesia in these already fragile patients. The stent placement technique is well established and should be performed in referral centers with adequate materials and equipment. Duodenal stents can be covered and uncovered. Nitinol stents have almost replaced other materials, being more flexible with a satisfactory axial and radial force. Common duodenal SEMS-related complications are recurrence of GOO symptoms due to stent clogging (tissue ingrowth/overgrowth and food impaction) and stent migration. These complications can be usually managed endoscopically. Perforation and bleeding are the most severe, but rare, complications. After stent placement, malignant GOO patients usually have improvement of the GOO symptoms with good resumption of fluids and solids. Choosing the most appropriate type of stent is arduous and should be done mainly in relation to the morphological aspects of the stricture. Endoscopic duodenal SEMS placement is indicated in symptomatic GOO patients suffering from unresectable malignancy or those inoperable due to advanced age or comorbidities. The absence of peritoneal carcinomatosis and multiple small bowel strictures is a key point for the clinical success of duodenal SEMS. Almost all symptomatic malignant GOO patients are candidates for the duodenal SEMS procedure; resolution of GOO, avoiding the need for a permanent naso-gastric or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube, significantly improves the patients' quality of life and dignity, even if life expectancy is short. Endoscopic duodenal SEMS insertion, after an adequate training, is a reproducible, simple, safe, and cost-effective procedure.

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