Vascular Graft Infections, Mycotic Aneurysms, and Endovascular Infections: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association

Walter R. Wilson, Thomas C. Bower, Mark A. Creager, Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, Patrick T. O'Gara, Peter B. Lockhart, Rabih O. Darouiche, Basel Ramlawi, Colin P. Derdeyn, Ann F. Bolger, Matthew E. Levison, Kathryn A. Taubert, Robert S. Baltimore, Larry M. Baddour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

304 Scopus citations


The use of synthetic material for reconstructive vascular surgery was first reported during the early 1950s. Infection involving vascular graft prostheses is an infrequent but devastating complication of reconstructive vascular graft surgery and is associated with a high morbidity and, in some situations, mortality. Improvements in surgical techniques and graft design, including the use of native venous or arterial tissue, have reduced the frequency of infection and severity of complications from vascular graft infection (VGI). However, these advances have also led to more frequent vascular graft procedures occurring in a patient population with multiple underlying comorbidities that would have previously disqualified them as candidates for vascular reconstructive surgery. Underlying comorbidities, such as diabetes mellitus or immune compromise, increase the risk of infection and serious infection-related complications. The major complications of VGI include sepsis, amputation, disruption of infected anastomotic suture line with rupture or pseudoaneurysm formation, embolization of infected thrombi, reinfection of reconstructed vascular grafts, enteric fistulae to the small or large bowel, bacteremic spread of infection to other sites, and death. VGIs can be categorized broadly into those that occur in an extracavitary location, primarily in the groin or lower extremities, or in an intracavitary location, primarily within the abdomen or less commonly within the thorax.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e412-e460
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016


  • AHA Scientific Statements
  • aneurysm, mycotic
  • bacterial infections
  • vascular grafting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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