A recent study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School found that multidetector CT (MDCT) scans are highly precise in detecting airway stent complications. During the study MDCT properly identified 29 of 30 airway stent complications in 21 patients.

The MDCT identified all cases of intraluminal narrowing, migration, invasion by neoplasm, and tracheal perforation. MDCT also identified three of four cases of stent fracture.

“Our results show that MDCT is a promising alternative to bronchoscopy for surveillance of stents for complications and has the potential to assist early detection of complications while they are most amenable to treatment. MDCT has the potential to replace bronchoscopy for the routine surveillance of patients with airway stents,” says Vandana Dialani MD, lead author of the study.

The researchers emphasize the need for additional, larger studies to determine whether a negative CT result effectively excludes a stent complication.