Gut Liver.  2019 May;13(3):366-372. 10.5009/gnl18330.

A Novel High-Visibility Radiopaque Tantalum Marker for Biliary Self-Expandable Metal Stents

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea. ldh@inha.ac.kr
  • 2Utah-Inha DDS and Advanced Therapeutics Research Center, BRC Research Complex, Incheon, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS
Radiopaque metal markers are required to improve X-ray absorption by self-expandable metal stents (SEMSs) to enable precise stent placement. A new tantalum radiopaque marker was recently developed using an ultrasonic spray technique. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the safety and visibility of tantalum markers.
METHODS
A total of three beagle dogs were used for a gastrointestinal tract absorption test. Five tantalum markers were placed in the stomach of each dog endoscopically. Excreted tantalum markers were collected, and their weights were compared to the original weights. In radiopacity tests, marker radiopacities on X-ray images were quantified using ImageJ software and compared with those of commercially available metal markers. Finally, the radiographic images of six patients who underwent biliary SEMS placement using tantalum marker Nitinol SEMSs (n=3) or gold marker Nitinol SEMSs (n=3) were compared with respect to marker brightness on fluoroscopic images.
RESULTS
Absorption testing showed that the marker structures and weights were unaffected. Radiopacity tests showed that the mean brightness and total brightness scores were greater for tantalum markers (226.22 and 757, respectively) than for gold (A, 209 and 355, respectively; B, 204.96 and 394, respectively; C, 194.34 and 281, respectively) or platinum markers (D, 203.6 and 98, respectively). On fluoroscopic images, tantalum markers had higher brightness and total brightness scores (41.47 and 497.67, respectively) in human bile ducts than gold markers (28.37 and 227, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS
Tantalum markers were found to be more visible than other commercially available markers in X-ray images and to be resistant to gastrointestinal absorption.

Keyword

Marker; Self expandable metallic stent; Tantalum

MeSH Terms

Absorption
Animals
Bile Ducts
Dogs
Gastrointestinal Absorption
Gastrointestinal Tract
Humans
Platinum
Self Expandable Metallic Stents
Stents*
Stomach
Tantalum*
Ultrasonics
Weights and Measures
Platinum
Tantalum
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