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Conservative treatment of aortic graft infection

Conservative treatment of aortic graft infection

Seminars in Vascular Surgery 24(4): 199-204

Conservative, nonresectional management of aortic graft infections is the optimal management for selected patients with aortic graft infections. The best candidates are those patients who have significant comorbidities, or where the existing aortic graft is in a location that precludes excision without causing a high likelihood of morbidity and/or mortality, such as thoracoabdominal and aortic arch grafts. When considering the conservative approach, computed tomographic angiography, supplemented by Indium(111) leukocyte scanning, is the best combination of diagnostic tests. Contraindications to a conservative approach are infected anastomotic aneurysms, graft-enteric fistulas, and suture-line hemorrhage. Needle aspiration of perigraft fluid or phlegmon, under ultrasound or computed tomography guidance, is useful to both culture the infection and provide drainage. A conservative approach should not be considered when the graft infection is due to invasive Gram-negative organisms, such as Pseudomonas or Salmonella species. Once a conservative approach is selected as the best treatment option, drainage of an infected perigraft space is critical to success, and can be performed either percutaneously or with open surgery, whether an endograft or surgically placed graft is in place. If open drainage is required, the perigraft space should be debrided and catheters placed for long-term antibiotic irrigation. With continuous antibiotic irrigation until the cultures are negative, followed by life-long oral antibiotics, there are multiple case reports and small series of long-term survivors. Whether the aortic graft infection is cured or controlled is debated, but outcomes for high-risk patients and those with grafts in critical vascular beds are often superior to a high-risk surgical graft resection.

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Accession: 052306129

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PMID: 22230674

DOI: 10.1053/j.semvascsurg.2011.10.014

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