Systematic Review of the Management of Mycotic Aortic Aneurysms

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2019 Sep;58(3):426-435. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2019.05.004. Epub 2019 Jul 16.


Objectives: The aim of this systematic literature review was to compile an updated overview of mycotic aortic aneurysm (MAA) treatment and outcomes.

Methods: A systematic literature review was performed using the search terms mycotic and infected aortic aneurysms in the MEDLINE and ScienceDirect databases, published between January 2000 and September 2018. Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, articles were scrutinised regarding surgical technique, aortic segment involved, pre- and post-operative antibiotic regimens, survival and infection related complications (IRCs), and factors associated with adverse or favourable outcomes.

Results: Twenty-eight studies, with a total of 963 patients, were included. All publications were observational, retrospective studies. Patient and study heterogeneity, along with missing data, precluded meta-analyses. Overall treatment consisted of open surgical repair (OSR; n = 556 [58%]), endovascular aortic repair (EVAR; n = 373 [39%]), and medical treatment alone (n = 34 [3%]). OSR was the dominant surgical technique prior to 2010, shifting to EVAR thereafter. For MAAs located in the abdominal aorta, EVAR was associated with better short term survival than OSR. Antibiotic treatment for more than six months post-operatively was associated with better survival, but there was no consensus on the length of treatment. MAAs were complicated by IRCs in 21%, irrespective of surgical technique, of which 46%-70% were fatal. The most consistently reported factors associated with adverse outcomes were increasing age, rupture, suprarenal abdominal aneurysm location, and non-Salmonella positive culture.

Conclusions: With few exceptions, the literature mainly consists of small, retrospective single centre studies. Standardised reporting is needed to increase comparability of studies. EVAR appears to be associated with superior short term survival without late disadvantages, compared with OSR. This suggests that EVAR can be an acceptable alternative to OSR. However, MAA treatment should always be tailor made and planned individually, and general recommendations are in vain. IRCs pose a significant threat to patients after MAA repair and require further investigation.

Keywords: Aneurysm; Aorta; EVAR; Infected; Mycotic; Review; Surgery; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm, Infected / surgery*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Disease Management*
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Humans