Recurrent or intractable ureteral strictures pose a significant problem for the practicing urologist. Metallic stents have been used sparingly for this problem with varying success. We investigated the use of a stent-graft consisting of a metal stent lined with a porous biocompatible polymer to determine if the liner would prevent urothelial ingrowth. One ureter of each of 11 dogs was treated with either a metallic woven stent or stent-graft inserted retrograde via a midline cystotomy. Six bare wire stents (controls) and five lined with a new, porous, biocompatible, polycarbonate elastomer liner (Corethane®) were placed. The animals were followed radiographically with intravenous urography (IVP) at 6 weeks and just prior to sacrifice (12 to 22 weeks). Gross, histological, and electron microscopic analyses were performed. The results demonstrate that all of the bare metal stented animals developed moderate to severe hydroureteronephrosis with significant urothelial hyperplasia and ingrowth through the spaces between the metal wires. The animals implanted with lined stents showed one instance of mild hydroureteronephrosis (observed radiographically but not grossly at time of sacrifice) and virtually no papillary in-growths of urothelium through the stent interstices. This obstructive phenomenon was prevented by the porous polymer lining. There was no evidence of biodegradation of the liner on scanning electron microscopy. Based upon these findings, the marriage of a biocompatible polymer which provokes minimal tissue reaction, and metallic stents which provide tremendous strength, seems to offer significant advantages when placed into the urinary tract to maintain ureteral luminal patency.
- Animal model
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