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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Jan;25(1):99-106. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e3283590a2a.

Bilateral biliary drainage for malignant hilar obstruction using the 'stent-in-stent' method with a Y-stent: efficacy and complications.

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Departments of Internal Medicine, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, South Korea.



The usefulness of bilateral stent placement for malignant hilar obstruction is still under debate. Nevertheless, many endoscopists advocate the placement of an endoscopic bilateral metal stent using various new devices and techniques.


We compared the technical and clinical efficacy, and the short-term and long-term complications of the 'stent-in-stent' method using a Y-stent for malignant hilar obstruction between the early and the late period of this study.


Ninety-seven patients treated with Y-stent implantation for malignant hilar obstruction were enrolled retrospectively. In 31 patients treated during the early period, bilateral Y-configured metal stents were placed for malignant hilar obstruction using the older designed Y-stent and a closed-cell second stent. The newly designed Y-stent and a slimmer open-cell second stent were introduced in 66 patients treated during the late period. New techniques learned through experience were gradually applied throughout the entire study period.


The rate of successful placement of bilateral stents was significantly higher in patients treated during the late period than those treated during the early period (58.1 vs. 87%; P=0.001). The functional success rate was 97.3%, with no difference between the early and the late periods. Cholangitis occurred as an early complication more frequently during the early period than during the late period (16.1 vs. 1.5%; P=0.012). Cholecystitis as a late complication occurred in 21 of 76 patients (27.6%). The incidence of late complications was similar between the early and the late periods.


With the development of new devices and increased technical experience, there were better outcomes during the late period compared with the early period. Endoscopic bilateral metal stenting using a Y-stent is an attractive option for the palliative treatment of malignant hilar obstruction.

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