Key words: Airway stents—Fluoroscopy—Prosthesis design—Elasticity—Bronchial diseases, therapy
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Purpose: To evaluate the long-term mechanical behavior in vivo of expandable endobronchial wire stents, we imaged three different prostheses in the treatment of tracheobronchial disease. Methods: Six patients with bronchial stenoses (three benign, three malignant) underwent insertion of metallic stents. Two self-expandable Wallstents, two balloon-expandable tantalum Strecker stents and two self-expandable nitinol Accuflex stents were used. Measurements of deformation properties were performed during voluntary cough by means of fluoroscopy, at 1 month and 7–10 months after implantation. The procedures were videotaped, their images digitized and the narrowing of stent diameters calculated at intervals of 20 msec. Results: After stent implantation all patients improved with respect to ventilatory function. Radial stent narrowing during cough reached 53% (Wallstent), 59% (tantalum Strecker stent), and 52% (nitinol Accuflex stent) of the relaxed post-implantation diameter. Stent compression was more marked in benign compared with malignant stenoses. In the long term permanent deformation occurred with the tantalum Strecker stents; the other stents were unchanged. Conclusion: Endobronchial wire stents can be helpful in the treatment of major airway collapse and obstructing bronchial lesions. However, evidence of material fatigue as a possible effect of exposure to recurrent mechanical stress on the flexible mesh tube may limit their long-term use. This seems to be predominantly important in benign bronchial collapse.
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