The management of mycotic femoral pseudoaneurysms in intravenous drug abusers

Colin Peirce, J C Coffey, Helen O'Grady, Sayed Aly, Kevin O'Malley, Martin O'Donohoe
Annals of Vascular Surgery 2009, 23 (3): 345-9
Mycotic femoral pseudoaneurysms, particularly in the drug-abusing population, pose a difficult problem to the vascular surgeon. Management ranges from ligation with debridement to extra-anatomical bypass. This study reviewed the management of mycotic femoral pseudoaneurysms presenting in intravenous drug abusers to an inner city tertiary referral center. Between 2001 and 2006, 11 cases presenting in nine patients were treated. The mean age was 30.7 years with a male-to-female ratio of 1:2. Eight patients had a positive viral status for the human immunodeficiency virus and/or hepatitis C. Two patients re-presented with a contralateral pseudoaneurysm. A combination of groin pain and swelling was the most common presentation. Two patients presented with significant hemorrhage. The diagnosis was confirmed by ultrasound in the majority of cases. Nine cases were managed with arterial ligation and debridement of the necrotic tissue. The two remaining cases were managed with ultrasound-guided thrombin injection and arterial puncture closure. On follow-up, one patient required a below-knee amputation following reinjection into the postoperative wound site. One further patient underwent a fifth metatarsal amputation due to ischemia. Ligation and debridement are well tolerated in the majority of drug-abusing patients diagnosed with mycotic femoral pseudoaneurysms.

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