Allium Stents: A Novel Solution for the Management of Upper and Lower Urinary Tract Strictures
Zaher Bahouth, Boaz Moskovitz, Sarel Halachmi, and Ofer NativAbstract
Stents are widely use in endoscopic urological procedures. One of the most important indications is the treatment of urinary tract strictures. Allium™ Medical has introduced several types of stents for the treatment of different types of urinary tract strictures, based on anatomic location. All the stents are made of nitinol and coated with a co-polymer that reduces encrustations. These stents are self-expandable and have a large caliber and a high radial force. They have different shapes, designed especially for the treatment of each type of stricture. One of the most important features of Allium-manufactured stents is the ease of removal, due to their special unraveling feature. The company has introduced the Bulbar Urethral Stent (BUS) for treatment of bulbar urethral strictures; a rounded stent available in different lengths. Initial data on 64 patients with bulbar urethral stricture treated with the BUS showed a significant improvement in symptoms, with minimal complications and few adverse events. For treatment of prostate obstruction in patients unfit for surgery or unwilling to undergo a classical prostatic surgery, the Triangular Prostatic Stent (TPS) was introduced, which has a triangular shape that fits in the prostatic urethra. Its body has a high radial force attached to an anchor (which prevents migration) through a trans-sphincteric wire (which reduces incontinence rate). Initial data on 51 patients showed significant improvement in symptoms and in urinary peak flow rate, with a relatively small number of complications. The Round Posterior Stent (RPS) was designed for treatment of post radical prostatectomy bladder neck contracture. This short, round stent has an anchor, which is placed in the bladder neck. This stent being relatively new, the clinical data are still limited. Ureteral strictures can be treated with the Ureteral Stent (URS), which is round-shaped, available in different lengths, and has an anchor option (for very distal or very proximal strictures). We have previously published data on 107 URSs inserted in patients with ureteral stricture due to several etiologies, including patients who failed previous treatment. All patients were asymptomatic for a long period of follow-up after stent removal, with only one case of re-stenosis. In this paper, we review the urological “covered” stents produced by Allium Medical with the relevant clinical data available at the present time.