Malignant esophageal obstruction and esophagorespiratory fistula: Palliation with a polyethylene-covered Z-stent

Richard R. Saxon, Katherine E. Morrison, Paul C. Lakin, Bryan D. Petersen, Robert E. Barton, Ronald M. Katon, Frederick S. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To prospectively evaluate the clinical efficacy of polyethylene-covered metallic Z-stents in treatment of dysphagia secondary to malignant esophageal obstruction and esophagorespiratory fistula. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-five patients with dysphagia due to malignant esophageal obstruction (n = 32) and esophagorespiratory fistula (n = 3) were treated with polyethylene-covered Gianturco-Rosch Z-stents. RESULTS: Thirty-nine stents were placed in 35 patients. Stent placement was technically successful in all patients. Improvement in dysphagia was achieved in 34 of 35 patients. The average dysphagia score de creased from 3.1 (dysphagia to liquids) to 0.6 (essentially normal diet). An esophagorespiratory fistula was completely sealed in two of three patients. All 35 patients were followed up clinically at 1 day and 1 week and at 3-month intervals (range, 1 week to 18 1/4 months; mean, 4.8 months). Re current dysphagia or aspiration occurred in only three of 34 (9%) patients whose disease was initially palliated and was easily treated in all cases. Nine complications occurred in eight patients (23%) and included chest pain that required analgesia (n = 3), food impaction (n = 1), stent migration (n = 2), and upper gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage (n = 3). CONCLUSION: Polyethylene-covered stents are a relatively safe and effective means of long-term palliation in patients with severe malignant esophageal obstruction and esophagorespiratory fistula. These stents are easily deployed, and the rate of stent migration is relatively low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997



  • Esophagus, grafts and prostheses
  • Esophagus, interventional procedure
  • Esophagus, neoplasms
  • Esophagus, stenosis or obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this