• During an 11-year period ending in December 1991, 36 patients with aortoenteric fistulas were assessed and treated. Twenty-five patients (69%) had previously undergone aortic reconstruction with Dacron grafts, and 11 (31 %) had spontaneous aortoenteric fistulas. Of the 25 patients with secondary fistulas, 14 (56%) had undergone aortic aneurysmal rupture or multiple aortic vascular reconstructions. Preoperative diagnosis was established in only 13 (36%) of 36 patients. Remote bypass preceding removal of the infected arterial prosthesis had the least morbidity and mortality. Three primary fistulas were found in unusual locations: aortocolonic, aortobronchial, and aortoesophageal. The patient with the aortoesophageal fistulas was the fifth survivor described in the literature. The overall mortality was 56%. A positive preoperative blood culture predicted a poor outcome. There were four amputations, three due to infection of the extra-anatomical bypass. Prompt directed assessment to ensure appropriately staged operative intervention should improve survival.
(Arch Surg. 1992;127:1191-1194)