Tracheobronchial stenting either alone or with esophageal stenting is often required for symptom palliation in obstructive or fistulous lesions of the airway due to esophageal cancer. There is limited evidence regarding dual stenting for lesions near the carina due to esophageal cancer. Hence, this study aims to evaluate the technical feasibility, outcomes, and complications of preplanned dual stenting in these patients.
This is a prospective observational study carried out over a period of 4 years (January 2015 to July 2019). All patients undergoing dual stenting in the airway and esophagus with obstructive or fistulous lesions near the carina were included. The esophageal stent was placed within 24 hours. Prestenting and poststenting symptoms were compared using a symptom-based visual analog scale, Hugh Jones dyspnea scale and dysphagia scale.
Twenty-nine patients (20 males; mean±SD age, 55.3±12.2 y) underwent dual stenting. Twenty-four patients had central airway obstruction due to: infiltration in 20 (69%) and external compression in 4 (13.7%), respectively. Five (17.3%) patients had tracheoesophageal fistula with no airway obstruction. In 80% of the patients (n=23), silicone stents were placed. There was significant improvement in both dyspnea and dysphagia after dual stenting (P<0.001). Mucus plugging, lower respiratory infection, and granulation tissue were the main complications. Median survival after dual stent was 97 days (range, 17 to 297 d).
Dual stenting within the airway and the esophagus is a safe and viable option for palliative relief of symptoms in patients with advanced esophageal cancer.