Tracheobronchial stents: an expanding prospect

Paul Lilburn*, Jonathan P. Williamson, Martin Phillips, Nikela Tillekeratne, Alvin Ing, Allan Glanville, Tajalli Saghaie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


The first dedicated tracheobronchial silicone stent was designed by the French pulmonologist Jean-Paul Dumon. The most common indications for stenting are to minimise extrinsic airway compression from mass effect, maintain airway patency due to intrinsic obstruction or treat significant nonmalignant airway narrowing or fistulae. Silicone stents require rigid bronchoscopy for insertion; however, they are more readily repositioned and removed compared with metallic stents. Metallic stents demonstrate luminal narrowing when loads are applied to their ends, therefore stents should either be reinforced at the ends or exceed the area of stenosis by a minimum of 5 mm. Nitinol, a nickel-titanium metal alloy, is currently the preferred material used for airway stents. Airway stenting provides effective palliation for patients with severe symptomatic obstruction. Drug-eluting and three-dimensional printing of airway stents present promising solutions to the challenges of the physical and anatomical constraints of the tracheobronchial tree. Biodegradable stents could also be a solution for the treatment of nonmalignant airway obstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-213
Number of pages10
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number2
Early online date22 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • airway stents
  • bronchoscopy
  • interventional bronchoscopy
  • metallic stents
  • silicone stents
  • tracheobronchial stents


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