Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
 
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BRIEF REPORT
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 116-120

Broncho-vascular fistulas from self-expanding metallic stents: A retrospective case review


1 Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2 Salmaniya Medical Complex/Ibn Al Nafees Hospital, Bahrain

Correspondence Address:
Chirag Choudhary
Mail Code- G62, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195
USA
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DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.109830

PMID: 23741275

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To highlight a potentially fatal complication of broncho-vascular fistula arising from the self expanding metallic stent (SEMS) placement. We retrospectively analyzed five patients with benign and malignant airway diseases, who developed tracheo/broncho-vascular fistulas following SEMS placement in our tertiary care setting. All patients received either Wallstent or Ultraflex® stent (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) between 1999 and 2007. All patients had received adjunct therapy such as balloon bronchoplasty, laser therapy or electrocautery. Most patients presented with massive hemoptysis. A total of 483 SEMS were placed during this period. SEMS placement can be complicated by Broncho-vascular fistula formation. True incidence and precise time interval between the insertion of stent and onset of this complication is unknown. Additional therapeutic modalities to maintain stent patency may enhance the risk of fistula formation. SEMS should only be used in a select sub-group of patients, after exhaustive evaluation of other treatment options. These cases provide evidence that broncho-vascular fistulas can develop at any time following SEMS placement, suggesting the need for a more cautious approach, especially while using them for a long term management. In benign airway disease, the stent should be removed as soon as healing has taken place.


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