Long-Term Success of Metal Endobronchial Stents in Lung Transplant Recipients
Background Bronchial stenosis is a common complication following lung transplantation. We evaluated long-term associations of the use of self-expandable metal stents (SEMSs) with lung function tests, patient safety, and survival.
Methods A retrospective chart review of 582 lung transplantations performed at our institution between January 2002 and January 2018. Fifty-four patients with SEMSs (intervention group) were matched one-to-one to patients without SEMSs (control group) using propensity score matching for age, sex, the year, and type of transplantation (unilateral/bilateral), and underlying disease. Data regarding long-term lung function and survival were compared between the groups.
Results During a median follow-up of 54.8 months, the difference in survival between the study groups was not statistically significant (p = 0.2). Following 5, 7.5 and 10 years, values of mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) were comparable between patients with and without SEMSs as follows: 59.5 versus 62.6% (p = 0.2), 55.9 versus 55.0% (p = 0.4), and 63.5 versus 61.9% (p = 0.3), respectively. In the intervention group, a significant increase in the mean FEV1 was observed in 60 days after stent insertion (from 41.9 ± 12.8 to 49.5 ± 16.7% days, p < 0.001). Long-term complications following stent insertion included severe bleeding (1.8%), stent fractures (7.4%), stent stenosis (7.4%), stent collapse (3.7%), endobronchial pressure ulcer (1.9%), and stent migration (1.9%).
Conclusion SEMS insertion is associated with a positive sustained effect on lung function, without increasing long-term mortality. Thus, airway stenosis after lung transplantation can be safely and successfully treated using endobronchial metal stenting, with tight bronchoscopic follow-up and maintenance.
Received: 10 July 2019
Accepted: 15 October 2020
21 January 2021 (online)
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