Metallic stents for airway complications after lung transplantation: Long-term follow-up

Nader Abdel-rahman, Mordechai R. Kramer, Milton Saute, Yael Raviv, Oren Fruchter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Bronchial stenosis is still a significant source of morbidity and mortality following lung transplantation (LTX) and often mandating placement of a bronchial stent. It has been suggested that although self-expanding metal stents offer excellent early palliation, their long-term complication rates are unacceptably high, and hence, their usage in many transplantation centres has been nearly abandoned. The aim of the study was to assess short- and long-term complication rates and survival in LTX patients with bronchial stenosis treated with insertion of self-expanding metal stents. METHODS: From January 1997 to March 2013, 435 patients underwent LTX (325 single-LTX and 110 bilateral LTX). Of 503 actual anastomoses at risk (derived by subtracting the number of anastomoses in 30 patients who died within 30 days of LTX), 60 airway complications (11.9%) in 47 patients required self-expanding metal stent insertion. We assessed the early results and long-term outcomes and survival compared with LTX patients in whom stents were not required. RESULTS: The median follow-up period ranged from 1 to 132 (median 54) months. Immediate relief of symptoms was achieved in the vast majority of patients (95%). One-, three- and five-year survival in patients who required self-expanding metal stent placement were 77.7, 66.6 and 55.5%, respectively. The corresponding survival rates in LTX patients without stents were 69, 64.9 and 61.1% (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Self-expanding metal stents are safe and effective tools in the management of airway complications post-LTX and provide immediate improvement in symptoms and pulmonary function tests in the vast majority of cases. The long-term complication rate is low, and mortality is similar to that in LTX patients who did not require stent insertion.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberezt458
Pages (from-to)854-858
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway stenosis
  • Lung transplantation
  • Metallic stent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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