J Thorac Dis. 2022 May;14(5):1674-1683. doi: 10.21037/jtd-21-1871.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Airway stents, used to restore airway patency, are mostly utilized by patients with malignant airway strictures, and are occasionally used in a range of other airway related diseases, including conditions which result in benign stenosis, malacia, and fistula. There has been an increasing number of airway stents that are being developed thanks to improvements in interventional therapy. However, the method of promoting airway stents for clinical application remains undetermined. Herein, we describe the recent advances in airway stents by reviewing the published studies, providing the reference for clinical decision-making and further research on airway stents.
METHODS: Relevant articles between January 1964 and November 2021 were obtained from PubMed, Web of Science, and EMBASE databases. The terms “metallic”, “silicone”, “drug-eluting”, “biodegradable”, “radioactive”, “three-dimensional (3D)”, and “stents” were searched in different combinations.Key Content and Findings: In this review, we focus on the latest evidence in terms of the application of various stents with novel materials and designs including novel metallic, novel silicone, drug-eluting, biodegradable, radioactive, and 3D stents for airway stenosis. Despite reducing the well-known complications of all current commercially available stents, novel stents are still in their infancy without a long track record of utility and safety, and remain some limitations. There are more steps to be taken before such stents enter routine clinical practice.
CONCLUSIONS: A combination of 3D-printing method and biodegradable material may present a promising avenue of solving the existing problems pertaining to “classic” stents and has potential to become the main trend in the future.