A phase III, multicenter, prospective, single-blinded, noninferiority, randomized controlled trial on the performance of a novel esophageal stent with an antireflux valve (with video)

Published:January 23, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2019.01.013

      Background and Aims

      Self-expanding metal stents (SEMSs) when deployed across the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) can lead to reflux with risks of aspiration. A SEMS with a tricuspid antireflux valve (SEMS-V) was designed to address this issue. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of this stent.


      A phase III, multicenter, prospective, noninferiority, randomized controlled trial was conducted on patients with malignant dysphagia requiring SEMSs to be placed across the GEJ. Patients were randomized to receive SEMSs with no valve (SEMS-NV) or SEMS-V. Postdeployment dysphagia score at 2 weeks and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease-Health Related Quality of Life (GERD-HRQL) questionnaire score at 4 weeks were measured. Patients were followed for 24 weeks.


      Sixty patients were randomized (SEMS-NV: 30 patients, mean age 67 ± 13 years; SEMS-V: 30 patients, mean age 65 ± 12 years). Baseline dysphagia scores (SEMS-NV, 2.5 ± .8; SEMS-V, 2.5 ± .8) and GERD-HRQL scores (SEMS-NV, 11.1 ± 8.2; SEMS-V, 12.8 ± 8.3) were similar. All SEMSs were successfully deployed. A similar proportion of patients in both arms improved from advanced dysphagia to moderate to no dysphagia (SEMS-NV, 71%; SEMS-V, 74%; 95% confidence interval, 1.93 [–17.8 to 21.7]). The dysphagia scores were also similar across all follow-up time points. Mean GERD-HRQL scores improved by 7.4 ± 10.2 points in the SEMS-V arm and by 5.2 ± 8.3 in the SEMS-NV group (P = .96). The GERD-HRQL scores were similar across all follow-up time points. Aspiration pneumonia occurred in 3.3% in the SEMS-NV arm and 6.9% in the SEMS-V arm (P = .61). Migration rates were similar (SEMS-NV, 33%; SEMS-V, 48%; P = .29). Two SEMS-V spontaneously fractured. There was no perforation, food impaction, or stent-related death in either group.


      The SEMS-V was equally effective in relieving dysphagia as compared with the SEMS-NV. Presence of the valve did not increase the risks of adverse events. GERD symptom scores were similar between the 2 stents, implying either that the valve was not effective or that all patients on proton pump inhibitors could have masked the symptoms of GERD. Studies with objective evaluations such as fluoroscopy and/or pH/impedance are recommended. (Clinical trial registration number: NCT02159898.)

      Graphical abstract


      AE (adverse event), FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), GEJ (gastroesophageal junction), GER (gastroesophageal reflux), GERD-HRQL (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease-Health Related Quality of Life), ITT (intention-to-treat), LOCF (last-observation-carried-forward), PPI (proton pump inhibitor), SEMS (self-expanding metal stent), SEMS-NV (self-expanding metal stent with no valve), SEMS-V (self-expanding metal stent with an antireflux valve)
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