Airway stent complications: The role of follow-up bronchoscopy as a surveillance method

Hans J. Lee, Wassim Labaki, Diana H. Yu, Benjamin Salwen, Christopher Gilbert, Andrea L.C. Schneider, Ricardo Ortiz, David Feller-Kopman, Sixto Arias, Lonny Yarmus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Airway stenting has become an integral part of the therapeutic endoscopic management of obstructive benign and malignant central airway diseases. Despite increased use of airway stents and frequent stent-associated complications, no clear guidelines for surveillance and maintenance exist. This study aim is to elucidate predictive factors associated with development of stent complications, as well as an optimal surveillance period for follow-up bronchoscopy for early detection and possible prevention of stentassociated complications. Methods: Retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent airway stent placements at our institution from April 2010 to December 2013 for benign and malignant airway diseases. Metallic, silicone (straight, Y stent, T-tube) and hybrid stents were included in the study. Stent complications were analyzed at the time of follow-up bronchoscopy performed four to six weeks after initial stent placement or earlier if patients became symptomatic. Results: The study included 134 patients of which 147 stents were placed. Follow-up bronchoscopy was performed in 94 patients. Symptomatic status at the time of follow-up bronchoscopy was not associated with stent complications [odds ratio (OR) =1.88; 95% CI: 0.79-4.45; P=0.15]. Patient age, sex, indication for stent placement, and stent location, were not associated with development of complications (all P > 0.05). Compared to all other stents, hybrid stents were more likely to migrate (OR =6.60; 95% CI: 2.16-20.2; P=0.001) or obstruct by secretions (OR =2.53; 95% CI: 1.10-5.84; P=0.03). There were no complications associated with surveillance bronchoscopy. Conclusions: Surveillance bronchoscopy within 4 to 6 weeks of stent placement may be useful for early detection of complications and their subsequent management, regardless of symptomatic status and indication for stent placement. Prospective multicenter studies are needed to compare optimal surveillance methods and the impact on patient mortality, morbidity and healthcare costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4651-4659
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Bronchoscopy
  • Complications
  • Stent
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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