Carotid artery reconstruction for infected carotid patches

P A Naughton, M Garcia-Toca, H E Rodriguez, W H Pearce, M K Eskandari, M D Morasch
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2010, 40 (4): 492-8

OBJECTIVES: Infected carotid prosthetic patches (ICPP) are a rare but catastrophic complication of carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Prevention and appropriate surgical management is essential. We report our experience of carotid artery reconstruction for ICPP.

DESIGN: Single-center retrospective study.

METHODS: 10-year review of the surgical treatment of ICPP.

RESULTS: Twelve patients presented with patch infection following CEA. Three patients presented acutely with an expanding hematoma, eight with chronic complications (abscess/discharging sinus n = 5, carotid pseudoaneurysm n = 3). Mean age was 75 years. Replacement conduits included superficial femoral artery (n = 6), cadaveric homograft (n = 3), long saphenous vein (n = 2) and one patient had primary closure. Five patients had muscle flaps fashioned for carotid artery protection. Operative complications included hypoglossal nerve injury (1 patient), superficial skin infection (2 patients) and one patient was returned to the operating room for a neck haematoma. Five surgical specimens were culture positive for: Staphylococcus aureus (n = 3), Corynebacterium propionibacterium (n = 1) and Streptococcus anginous (n = 1). There were no 30-day mortalities. Mean hospital stay was 6 days. Median follow-up was 16 months (range 3-108 months).

CONCLUSION: Carotid artery reconstruction in a contaminated wound represents a significant surgical challenge. Unlike previous reports that used venous conduits, this is the first series where cadaveric or autologous arterial conduits were preferred. Arterial conduits achieved durable short term follow-up.

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