Xenogeneic materials for the surgical treatment of aortic infections

P.R. Keschenau, A. Gombert, M.E. Barbati, H. Jalaie, J. Kalder, M.J. Jacobs*, D. Kotelis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The surgical treatment of aortic infections (AIs) is challenging. In situ aortic reconstructions represent nowadays the favored therapy for fit patients and xenogeneic materials are used increasingly. The aim of this study was to present our experience with xenogeneic reconstructions for AI using self-made bovine pericardium tubes and/or the biosynthetic Omniflow (R) II graft.Methods: This retrospective single-center study included all patients undergoing xenogeneic aortic and aortoiliac reconstructions from December 2015 to June 2020. Patient comorbidities, symptoms, procedural characteristics, types of pathogens and postoperative outcomes were analyzed.Results: Twenty-eight patients [23 male (82%), median age 68 (range, 28-84) years] were included. Ten patients ( 36%) had native AIs and 18 (64%) had graft infections, including 3 (11%) aortoesophageal and 2 (7%) aortoduodenal fistulas (ADF). Twenty-four patients (86%) were symptomatic, the most common symptoms being contained aortic rupture (n=8) and sepsis (n=4). The surgical procedures were infra- and juxtarenal aortic repairs ( n=11, 39% and n=7, 25%), thoracoabdominal aortic repairs (type IV: n=1, 4%; type V: n= 3, 11%), descending thoracic aortic repairs (n=4, 14%) and 2 reconstructions (7%) involving the ascending aorta/aortic arch. Most were urgent (n=10, 43%) or emergent operations (n=11, 35%). Identification of pathogen(s), mostly Gram-positive bacteria, was possible in 25 patients (89%). Twelve patients (43%) had polymicrobial infections and 6 (21%) infections with multi-resistant bacteria. In-hospital mortality was 32% (n=9) due to acute cardiac failure (1/9), endocarditis (1/9), bleeding ( 3/9) and sepsis (4/9). The most frequent complications were transient need for dialysis (n= 12, 43%) and persisting sepsis (n=11, 39%). Two early occlusions of Omniflow (R) II grafts were observed (7%). Median follow- up (FU), during which 2 patients died of non-aortic causes, was 14 months (95% CI: 9-19 months). Freedom from reoperation was 100%, there was no evidence for reinfection during FU.Conclusions: Xenogeneic orthotopic reconstructions for AI can be performed at all aortic levels. Combining bovine pericardium and the Omniflow (R) II graft can be useful for reconstructing the branched aortic segments and both materials show appropriate early to midterm outcomes. Nonetheless, AIs are serious conditions associated with relevant morbidity/mortality rates, even in a specialized center.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3021-3032
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • Aneurysm
  • infected
  • prosthesis-related infections
  • bioprosthesis
  • vascular grafting
  • transplants
  • SELF


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