The management of aortoenteric and paraprosthetic fistulae

R. S.D. Higgins, D. L. Steed, T. B. Julian, M. S. Makaroun, A. B. Peitzman, M. W. Webster

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27 Scopus citations


Aortoenteric and aortic paraprosthetic fistulae are devastating complications. Most authors recommend total excision of the graft and revascularization of the lower extremities by extra-anatomic bypass. We reviewed the University of Pittsburgh experience with these fistulae in 15 patients between 1977 and 1987. There were 9 aortoenteric fistulae (AEF) and 6 paraprosthetic fistulae (PPF). Seven of the 9 AEF had no abscess surrounding the graft, but communication of the intestine with the aortic anastomosis. One patient died during operation. Six patients underwent a local repair or in situ replacement of the graft. All 6 of those patients survived operation without limb loss. Two of the 9 patients with AEF had evidence of graft infection and underwent total excision of the graft and extra-anatomic reconstruction. Both patients died, one of sepsis and one of aortic stump rupture. All 6 patients with PPF had clinical and operative evidence of overt graft infection and underwent total graft excision and extra-anatomic bypass. Two of these patients died secondary to sepsis. We conclude that AEF, without evidence of graft infection, were safely treated by local repair. Patients with PPF had infected grafts requiring graft removal with significant morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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