Expeditious management of ischemic invasive foot infections

Cardiovasc Surg. 1996 Dec;4(6):792-5. doi: 10.1016/s0967-2109(96)00045-2.


Management of infected ischemic diabetic limbs requires antibiotic therapy, abscess drainage, and revascularization. However, revascularization is often delayed for several days or weeks as the infection is controlled. In an effort to decrease hospital stay and costs and to increase limb salvage, a series of 974 extremities with distal occlusive disease were managed with autogenous distal bypass. Some 136 of these limbs (125 diabetic) had severe invasive infections. These patients received intravenous antibiotics in all cases and abscess drainage if necessary. Vascular reconstruction was carried out as soon as possible, within 48 h of admission. An in situ bypass was used preferentially (107 cases). Patients were maintained on intravenous antibiotics in the perioperative period. Partial foot amputations, when necessary, were performed in 111 cases, usually 3-5 days after vascular reconstruction. There were no graft infections or major wound infections. There were two cases of skin edge necrosis requiring reoperation due to flap mobilization and consequent ischemia. Urgent revascularization with an autogenous conduit may be carried out in patients with invasive foot infections expeditiously, with high rates of limb salvage. Graft and wound infections are not common in this setting. Costly prolonged pre-bypass hospitalization in these cases is unnecessary.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Amputation
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Arteries / surgery
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Diabetic Foot / microbiology
  • Diabetic Foot / pathology
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Drainage
  • Gangrene
  • Humans
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Length of Stay
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veins / transplantation


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents