Therapeutic resolution of focal, predominantly anastomotic Crohn’s disease strictures using removable stents: outcomes from a single-center case series in the United Kingdom

Published:February 18, 2020DOI:

      Background and Aims

      Intestinal and anastomotic strictures in Crohn’s disease (CD) produce considerable morbidity. The development of surgery-sparing, endoscopic modalities for stricture resolution is essential. Removable stent therapy is emerging as an efficacious and safe means of stricture resolution. We present outcomes from the largest, single-center series of patients with CD undergoing removable self-expanding metal stent (SEMS) therapy to resolve focal intestinal strictures.


      Patients with symptomatic CD were assessed with magnetic resonance enterography. Short (≤6 cm), fibrostenotic strictures of the terminal ileum or ileocolonic anastomoses were considered by a multidisciplinary team and put forward for stent therapy. Strictures were examined endoscopically and impassable strictures were treated with SEMSs. The Hanaro HRC-20-080-230 partially covered SEMS was used for all patients. Endoscopically inaccessible or inflammatory strictures were excluded. Stent retrieval was scheduled for 7 days after insertion. Therapeutic benefit was assessed with validated inflammatory bowel disease scoring tools.


      Twenty-one patients underwent 23 stent episodes, with 2 patients requiring repeat therapy in the follow-up period. Most treated strictures were anastomotic (19 of 21); 2 of 21 were de novo. Of those patients attending follow-up, 81% (13 of 16) reported symptom improvement or resolution; 88% (14 of 16) were in clinical remission at follow-up. Across all stent episodes, only 5 adverse events were noted (2 episodes of stent-related discomfort, 3 asymptomatic stent migrations). There were no direct stent-related adverse events such as perforation, impaction, or bleeding. No patient has required stricture-related surgery in the follow-up period (range, 3-50 months).


      In this series, removable SEMS therapy for ileal and anastomotic strictures was found to be clinically efficacious. The absence of perforation events and need for stricture-related surgery are noteworthy. These results suggest that the efficacy of stent therapy in this context merits powered, head-to-head investigation with other modalities for stricture resolution.

      Graphical abstract


      AE (adverse event), CD (Crohn’s disease), CDAI (Crohn’s Disease Activity Index), EBD (endoscopic balloon dilatation), ECM (extracellular matrix), HBI (Harvey-Bradshaw Index), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), MDT (multidisciplinary team), MR (magnetic resonance), SEMS (self-expanding metal stent), TI (terminal ileum)
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      Linked Article

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