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Management of common bile duct stricture caused by chronic pancreatitis with metal mesh self expandable stents.
  1. J Deviere,
  2. M Cremer,
  3. M Baize,
  4. J Love,
  5. B Sugai,
  6. A Vandermeeren
  1. Medicosurgical Department of Gastroenterology, Hôpital Erasme, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.


    Twenty patients with chronic pancreatitis and signs of biliary obstruction were treated by endoscopic placement of self expandable metal mesh stents, and followed up prospectively. Eleven had been treated previously with plastic endoprostheses. All had persistent cholestasis, seven patients had jaundice, and three overt cholangitis. Endoscopic stent placement was successful in all cases. No early clinical complication was seen and cholestasis, jaundice or cholangitis rapidly resolved in all patients. Mean follow up was 33 months (range 24 to 42) and consisted of clinical evaluation, ultrasonography, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). In 18 patients, successive ERCPs and cholangioscopies have shown that the metal mesh initially embeds in the bile duct wall and is rapidly covered by a continuous tissue by three months. The stent lumen remained patent and functional throughout the follow up period except in two patients who developed epithelial hyperplasia within the stent resulting in recurrent biliary obstruction, three and six months after placement. They were treated endoscopically with standard plastic stents with one of these patients ultimately requiring surgical drainage. No patient free of clinical or radiological signs of epithelial hyperplasia after six months developed obstruction later. This new treatment could become an effective alternative to surgical biliary diversion if further controlled follow up studies confirm the initial impression that self expandable metal mesh stents offer a low morbidity alternative for longterm biliary drainage in chronic pancreatitis without the inconvenience associated with plastic stents.

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