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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2016, Article ID 1945172, 8 pages
Research Article

Colonic Stents for Colorectal Cancer Are Seldom Used and Mainly for Palliation of Obstruction: A Population-Based Study

1Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
2Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
3Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
4Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Received 17 February 2014; Accepted 18 May 2015

Copyright © 2016 Anna M. Borowiec et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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 health care 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 health care encounters.