Percutaneous transhepatic implantation of self-expanding metal endoprostheses in palliative treatment of malignant obstructive jaundice
Prospective studies comparing biliary-enteric bypass with implantation of endoprostheses in palliation of malignant obstructive jaundice showed no significant difference. A new self-expandable metal endoprosthesis was introduced to ameliorate the results in terms of early complication and occlusion rate. Between December 1988 and April 1991 we treated 35 patients (32 with malignant obstructive jaundice) by 50 self-expandable endoprostheses. The implantation was successful in 96% of patients. The early complication rate was 37% and the 30-day mortality 14%. In 89% of the patients relief of jaundice after 3 months was found. Recurrent jaundice and cholangitis occurred in 39%, whereas reoperation was necessary in 25%. 16 of 26 patients (61%) with malignant obstructive jaundice where alive after an average of 7.5 months. We found no advantage of the self-expandable endoprostheses compared with conventional plastic stents. Implantation of a self-expandable metal endoprosthesis may be an alternative to surgical bypass in selected cases. It would be interesting to evaluate the endoscopic route of insertion and to compare the results with palliative surgery in randomized studies.