Randomized trial in malignant biliary obstruction: plastic vs partially covered metal stents.
AIM: To compare efficacy and complications of partially covered self-expandable metal stent (pcSEMS) to plastic stent (PS) in patients treated for malignant, infrahilar biliary obstruction. METHODS: Multicenter prospective randomized clinical trial with treatment allocation to a pcWallstent(®) (SEMS) or a 10 French PS. Palliative patients aged ≥ 18, for infrahilar malignant biliary obstruction and a Karnofsky performance scale index > 60% from 6 participating North American university centers. Primary endpoint was time to stent failure, with secondary outcomes of death, adverse events, Karnofsky performance score and short-form-36 scale administered on a three-monthly basis for up to 2 years. Survival analyses were performed for stent failure and death, with Cox proportional hazards regression models to determine significant predictive characteristics. RESULTS: Eighty-five patients were accrued over 37 mo, 42 were randomized to the SEMS group and 83 patients were available for analyses. Time to stent failure was 385.3 ± 52.5 d in the SEMS and 153.3 ± 19.8 d in the PS group, P = 0.006. Time to death did not differ between groups (192.3 ± 23.4 d for SEMS vs 211.5 ± 28.0 d for PS, P = 0.70). The only significant predictor was treatment allocation, relating to the time to stent failure (P = 0.01). Amongst other measured outcomes, only cholangitis differed, being more common in the PS group (4.9% vs 24.5%, P = 0.029). The small number of patients in follow-up limits longitudinal assessments of performance and quality of life. From an initially planned 120 patients, only 85 patients were recruited. CONCLUSION: Partially covered SEMS result in a longer duration till stent failure without increased complication rates, yet without accompanying measurable benefits in survival, performance, or quality of life.
Moses, PL; Alnaamani, KM; Barkun, AN; Gordon, SR; Mitty, RD; Branch, MS; Kowalski, TE; Martel, M; Adam, V
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