Management of infected vascular grafts

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Infections of vascular grafts are associated with significant mortality and morbidity risk and cost an estimated $640 million annually in the United States. Clinical presentation varies by time elapsed from implantation and by surgical site. A thorough history and physical examination in conjunction with a variety of imaging modalities is often essential to diagnosis. For infected aortic grafts, there are several options for treatment, including graft excision with extra-anatomic bypass, in situ reconstruction, or reconstruction with the neo-aortoiliac system. The management of infected endovascular aortic grafts is similar. For infected peripheral bypasses, graft preservation techniques can be utilized, but in cases where it is not possible, graft removal and revascularization through uninfected tissue planes is necessary. Infected dialysis access can be surgically treated by complete or subtotal graft excision. Diagnosis, general management, and surgical approaches to infected vascular grafts are discussed in this review.

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