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Colonic stents for colorectal cancer are seldom used and mainly for palliation of obstruction: a population-based study


Self-expandable stents for obstructing colorectal cancer (CRC) offer an alternative to operative management. The objective of the study was to determine stent utilization for CRC obstruction in the province of Ontario between April 1, 2000, and March 30, 2009. Colonic stent utilization characteristics, poststent insertion health outcomes, and healthcare encounters were recorded. 225 patients were identified over the study period. Median age was 69 years, 2/3 were male, and 2/3 had metastatic disease. Stent use for CRC increased over the study period and gastroenterologists inserted most stents. The median survival after stent insertion was 199 (IQR, 69–834) days. 37% of patients required an additional procedure. Patients with metastatic disease were less likely to go on to surgery (HR 0.14, 95% CI 0.06–0.32, ). There were 2.4/person-year emergency department visits (95% CI 2.2–2.7) and 2.3 hospital admissions/person-year (95% CI 2.1–2.5) following stent insertion. Most admissions were cancer or procedure related or for palliation. Factors associated with hospital admissions were presence of metastatic disease, lack of chemotherapy treatment, and stoma surgery. Overall the use of stents for CRC obstruction remains low. Stents are predominantly used for palliation with low rates of postinsertion healthcare encounters.



Borowiec AM, Wang CSK, Yong E, Law C, Coburn N, Sutradhar R, Baxter N, Paszat L, Tinmouth J. Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016; 2016:1945172. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

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