Multidetector CT (MDCT) scans are highly accurate in detecting airway stent complications according to a recent study performed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.
MDCT correctly identified 29 (97%) of 30 complications in 21 patients, including all cases of intraluminal narrowing, migration, invasion by neoplasm and tracheal perforation; MDCT also identified three of four cases of stent fracture," according to Vandana Dialani, MD, lead author of the study.
"Our results show that MDCT is a promising alternative to bronchoscopy for surveillance of stents for complications and has the potential to assist early detection of complications while they are most amenable to treatment. MDCT has the potential to replace bronchoscopy for the routine surveillance of patients with airway stents," said Dr. Dialani.
Patient complications from airway stents are common. "Bronchoscopy is currently the reference standard for detection and treatment of stent complications, but it is an invasive test. MDCT is a non-invasive imaging alternative for the detection of airway stent complications," said Dr. Dialani.
Although the results of this study are very promising, Dr. Dialani emphasized the need for additional, larger studies in order to determine whether a negative CT result effectively excludes a stent complication and to better assess the accuracy of MDCT for detecting rare complications.