European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery vol:25 issue:3 pages:240-245
OBJECTIVE: to study the short and long term effectiveness of in situ replacement of infected aortic grafts with the lower extremity deep veins. METHODS: forty-nine patients operated on for infrarenal aortic graft infection since 1990 were studied. Diagnosis of infection was based on clinical signs, bacteriological tests and typical findings on CT scan and leukocyte scan. The surgical treatment consisted in harvesting the femoral vein, total graft excision, thorough debridement and in situ reconstruction with the femoral veins. After discharge, the patients were followed at 6 monthly intervals with clinical examination, duplex and/or CT scan. RESULTS: there were four in-hospital deaths (8%). One patient required above-knee amputation (2%) and there were two graft limb occlusions (4%). With a mean follow-up 41 months, another 13 patients died, unrelated to the operation (29%). There were no late amputations and only two late graft limb stenoses (4%). We have a 5 year survival rate of 60%, a 5 year limb salvage rate of 98%, and a 5 year primary patency rate of 91%. There were no cases of aneurysmal dilatation of vein grafts and no incidence of reinfection. CONCLUSION:in situ reconstruction with the lower extremity deep veins is in the long term a safe and attractive alternative in the treatment of infrarenal aortic graft infection.