Background: Self-expandable metallic (SEM) airway stents are an important approach to treating malignant central airway obstruction (CAO). Standard over-the-while (OTW) stent needs the guidance of a guide-wire. It should be implanted under flouroscopy or the guidance of bronchoscope visualization. In this study, we evaluated the operation time and safety between OTW stent and a novel through-the-scope (TTS) SEM airway stent. Methods: In this multi-center, randomized, parallel-group superiority study, malignant CAO patients were enrolled randomly assigned (2:1) to the TTS stent implantation group (TTS group) or the standard OTW stent group (OTW group) in six sites across China. The entire process of all surgical procedures was recorded by video. Primary endpoint was the operation time of the airway stent implantation and secondary endpoint was the success rate of the stent implantation as well as its efficacy and safety. Results: From May 15, 2017, to December 30, 2018, 148 patients were enrolled from the six sites. We analyzed 134 patients (including 91 patients from the TTS group and 43 patients from the OTW group) according to the per-protocol set. There were no significant differences in the ages, genders, underlying diseases, and stenosis sites between the two groups. The operation time in the TTS group was significantly shorter than that in the OTW group (104±68 vs. 252±111 seconds, P<0.001). Compared to the OTW group, the efficacy of stent implantation (97.80% vs. 90.70%, P=0.093) and rate of first-time successful stent implantation (78.02% vs. 74.42%, P=0.668) were higher in the TTS group, but did not reach statistically significance. The rates of granulation (28.57% vs. 41.86%, P=0.128) and restenosis (15.38% vs. 30.23%, P=0.064) in the TTS group were slightly lower as compared with the OTW group without achieving statistical significance. Conclusions: The TTS stent implantation procedure time was significantly shorter than that of the OTW airway stent with similar efficacy and complications, which might reduce the risk and flexibility of stent implantation.
- Central airway obstruction (CAO)
- flexible bronchoscope
- metallic airway stent