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Ann Thorac Surg. 1999 Jun;67(6):1990-3; discussion 1997-8.

Management of thoracic aortic graft infections.

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Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA.



We reviewed our experience managing patients with thoracic aortic graft infections to evaluate their clinical characteristics and outcomes of treatment.


Records of 20 consecutive patients with thoracic aortic graft infections managed over a 7 year period were retrospectively reviewed. Current follow-up status was obtained for all survivors. RESULTS; Nineteen patients (95%) underwent surgical treatment. Graft excision and in situ replacement were performed using Dacron grafts (10/19, 53%) or cryopreserved homografts (5/19, 26%). Three pseudoaneurysms were managed by debridement and primary repair. Although 30 day postoperative survival was 89% (17/19), in-hospital mortality occurred in 8 patients (42%). Infected thoracoabdominal aortic grafts were universally fatal. Of 6 patients with infected composite valve grafts, both patients who received new composite valve grafts died and all 4 who received homografts survived (p = 0.067).


Infections involving thoracic aortic grafts continue to carry a high mortality rate, especially in patients with polymicrobial infections, thoracoabdominal aortic graft infections, and composite valve graft infections. Use of homografts in the latter situation may improve outcome.

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