• Between January 1970 and June 1988, a total of 45 patients with aortic prosthetic graft infection underwent removal of the infected aortic prosthesis. In addition, 36 of these patients also underwent revascularization via an extra-anatomic bypass. We analyzed the early and long-term results with respect to survival, limb salvage, freedom from infection, and extra-anatomic graft patency. The 30-day mortality was 24% (11/45), and the amputation rate was 11% (8/73). During a mean follow-up of 36 months (range, 2 to 144 months), 80% (24/30) of the patients remained free of infection and are considered cured. Infection in the extraanatomic bypass graft was the most common cause of recurrent sepsis and the leading cause of late amputations (four of seven). By life-table methods, 1-year survival was 63% and 5-year survival was 49%. Limb salvage rates at 1 and 5 years were 79% and 66%, respectively. The primary patency rate of extra-anatomic bypass was 43% at 3 years, with the secondary patency rate improved to 65%. These early and late results are in marked contrast to the natural history of untreated aortic graft infection. Nonetheless, a perioperative mortality rate of 24%, a 5-year limb loss rate of 33%, and 3-year graft thrombosis rate of 35% are testimony to the serious nature of aortic graft infection and the need to develop better methods to prevent this complication.
(Arch Surg. 1991;126:507-511)