Although many studies have investigated the efficacy of stent placement for patients with malignant extrahepatic biliary obstruction, the clinical outcomes and adverse events of biliary stent-ing have not been comprehensively evaluated. We searched all relevant randomized-controlled trials that evaluated the comparative efficacy of biliary stents, including the plastic stents, uncovered self-expandable metal stents (SEMSs), and covered SEMSs in patients with malignant extrahepatic biliary obstructions. Twenty-one studies with 2326 patients were included. Both uncovered and covered SEMSs had a lower risk of recurrent biliary obstruction (RBO) compared to plastic stents (risk ratio (RR) (95% confidence interval [CI]): uncovered vs. plastic, 0.46 (0.35–0.62); covered vs. plastic, 0.46 (0.34–0.62)). A comparison of the groups using SEMSs revealed that tumor ingrowth was common in the uncovered SEMS group, while stent migration, tumor overgrowth, and occlu-sion by sludge were common in the covered SEMS group; however, the overall risk of RBO did not differ between these groups (RR (95% CI): uncovered vs. covered: 1.02 (0.80–1.30)). Although the main causes of RBO vary across stents, RBO risk was similar between uncovered and covered SEMS groups. Both SEMSs have superior efficacy in terms of RBO compared to plastic stents.
- Malignant biliary obstruction
- Metal stent
- Plastic stent
- Recurrent biliary obstruction