Risk factors associated with infection of lower extremity revascularization: analysis of 365 procedures performed at a teaching hospital

Ann Vasc Surg. 2003 Jan;17(1):91-6. doi: 10.1007/s10016-001-0337-8. Epub 2003 Jan 15.


Infection of arterial reconstructions is associated with high rates of mortality and limb loss despite optimal treatment. Lower extremity revascularization procedures performed at a teaching hospital were reviewed to identify risk factors associated with wound infection. Medical records, postoperative infection surveillance forms, and a computerized vascular registry for lower extremity revascularizations involving a common femoral or more distal artery during a 3-year period were reviewed. There were 335 bypass operations (184 femoral-distal, 36 popliteal-distal, 17 aortofemoral, 13 femorofemoral, 11 axillofemoral, 74 graft revisions) and 30 other vascular procedures (arterial thrombectomy or endarterectomy). Factors analyzed included age, gender, diabetes mellitus, dialysis dependence, malnutrition, obesity, ipsilateral foot ulcer or gangrene, separate admissions within the month preceding surgery, length of hospital stay before surgery, length of operation, wound hematoma requiring reoperation, vein or prosthetic grafts, or redo surgery. Risk factors commonly thought to increase wound infection following lower extremity revascularizations, such as diabetes, obesity, renal failure, redo surgery, and prosthetic grafts, did not predict this complication in this series. Given the correlation of operative time with infection, efforts to minimize operative time by "double-teaming" staff participation in teaching cases may decrease infection rates, although this is speculative. Vascular services should institute strategies to ensure that appropriate prophylactic antibiotics are administered in a timely fashion before lower extremity revascularizations.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / surgery*
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology*
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*