Stenting in malignant colonic obstruction—is it a real therapeutic option?

Nir Horesh, Joseph Yosef Dux, Moshe Nadler, Alon Lang, Oded Zmora, Einat Shacham-Shmueli, Mordechai Gutman, Ron Shapiro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Malignant colonic obstruction is commonly treated surgically. Colonic stents are a therapeutic option for palliation or used as a bridge to surgery or chemotherapy. Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical success rate of stenting as a bridge to one-step surgery, chemotherapy, or as a palliative measure. Design: This was a retrospective observational study. Settings: The study was conducted at a university-affiliated tertiary referral center. Patients and interventions: From 2007 to 2014, 45 patients with malignant colonic obstruction were referred for stent insertion. Main outcome measures: Patients were grouped according to three pre-defined treatment goals: group 1: restorative one-step procedure without an ostomy, group 2: completion of scheduled chemotherapy before surgery, and group 3: palliation without surgical intervention. Results: Group 1 included 11 patients. Three patients (27.3 %) met the treatment goal of one-step surgery. Eight patients (72.7 %) did not reach the primary goal due to stent insertion failure (four patients), stent-related complications (two patients), and failure to perform a one-step surgery after successful stent insertion (two patients). Group 2 included 12 patients. Chemotherapy was successfully completed prior to surgery in six patients (50 %). Six patients (50 %) did not achieve treatment goal due to stent insertion failure (two patients), stent migration (two patients), stent-related perforation (one patient), and mortality (one patient). Group 3 included 20 patients. Long-term palliation without surgical intervention was achieved in eight patients (40 %). Stent insertion failed in seven patients (35 %). Five patients (25 %) needed urgent surgery due to stent complications (three migrations and two perforations). Limitations: The study was limited by its retrospective nature and small sample size. Conclusions: This study demonstrates only a modest success rate of colonic stents in the treatment of malignant colonic obstruction. Although colonic stenting seems to be an effective method of relieving colonic obstruction, high failure rates limits its applicability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Chemotherapy
  • Colonic stent
  • Malignant colonic obstruction
  • One-step surgery
  • Palliation


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