Endoscopic palliation of malignant obstructive jaundice in extremely elderly patients: plastic stent is enough.

Departments of Surgery and Emergency, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
Minimally invasive therapy & allied technologies: MITAT: official journal of the Society for Minimally Invasive Therapy (Impact Factor: 1.33). 02/2010; 19(2):122-4. DOI:10.3109/13645701003642941
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although the price of biliary metal stents is manyfold higher when compared to plastic stents, the lower frequency of recurrent obstructions makes metal stents superior to plastic stents for endoscopic palliation of malignant biliary stricture in most patients. Is this the case in extremely elderly patients as well? A retrospective data review comprising prospective data collection and double-entry bookkeeping of therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographies (ERCP) with biliary strictures referring to malignancy in 14 patients aged 90 years or older at our institution in 1997-2007. Plastic stents were successfully inserted in 11 out of 14 patients, yielding a technical success rate of 79 %. In the remaining three patients, high biliary obstruction was relieved percutaneously in two cases while the general condition of one patient was so poor that terminal care decision was made in that case. There was no recurrent biliary obstruction in any of the patients with plastic stents prior to death which occurred after a mean of 2.8 months, giving a clinical success rate of 100 %. To be concluded, in extremely elderly patients with malignant obstructive jaundice, palliation with plastic stent is effective enough.

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