Background: Acute bleeding from nontreated esophageal varices is associated with a mortality rate of 30% to 50%. Various pharmacologic and interventional methods to stop acute bleeding are available. However, for 10% to 20% of patients, therapy fails to stop the bleeding.
This study aimed to assess the SX-ELLA Stent Danis Set (which has a self-expanding metal stent) instead of a balloon probe for compression of esophageal varices.
Methods: Using a multidisciplinary approach, a selfexpanding stent was placed in 39 patients between January 2003 and August 2007. For 34 of these patients with ongoing bleeding from esophageal varices, stent implantation was performed with the SX-ELLA Stent Danis Set, and the patients were included in this study. For all these patients, common methods failed to stop hemorrhage. With the SX-ELLA Stent Danis Set, the stent was implanted with a positioning balloon that enabled delivery without Xray control. After implantation of the stent, its position was controlled by endoscopy and computed tomography (CT) scan.
Results: For all 34 patients, the implantation of the esophageal stent succeeded in stopping ongoing bleeding. No stent-related complications occurred during or after stent implantation. No bleeding recurrence was observed during the stent implantation (median time, 5 days; range 114 days). For all the patients, the stent could be extracted by endoscopy without any complications using an extractor. Nine patients died of hepatic failure within 30 days after the procedure. No rebleeding occurred.
Conclusions: The use of a self-expanding stent to stop acute bleeding from esophageal varices is a new therapeutic method. The authors initial experience, which involved no method-related mortality or complications, is encouraging. More data are necessary to confirm their results.