U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Date of this Version


Document Type



Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2016, Vol. 50(4) 256-260


Copyright The Author(s) 2016.

DOI: 10.1177/1538574416637443


Background: Literature on postoperative outcomes following aortic surgery for aortic graft infection (AGI) is limited by relatively small sample sizes, resulting in lack of national benchmarks for quality of care. We report in-hospital outcomes following abdominal aortic surgery for AGI and identify factors associated with postoperative complications using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database. Methods: Patients who underwent aortic graft resection for AGI were identified from the 2002 to 2008 NIS database, a multicenter database capturing 20% of all US admissions. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: Among 394 patients (men: 73.4%) who underwent abdominal aortic surgery for AGI, 53% of the admissions were emergent/urgent. A significant trend for decreasing number of abdominal aortic surgery for AGIs per year was observed (Pearson r correlation: -.96; P = .0006). Over the same time span, a significant correlation was also seen with decrease in open and increase in endovascular aortic aneurysm repairs in the NIS database. In-hospital rates of overall postoperative morbidity and mortality were 68.3% and 19.8%, respectively. In-hospital rates of postoperative respiratory failure, renal failure, and cardiac arrest were 35.5%, 14.2%, and 8.9%, respectively. Median length of stay was 26 days, with median hospital charges being US$184 162. On multivariable analysis, increase in age per year (odds ratio [OR] 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-1.12) was independently associated with postoperative morbidity, while higher hospital volume for this procedure was protective (OR: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.56-0.89). No preoperative factors were independently associated with postoperative mortality. Conclusion: Incidence of abdominal aortic surgery for AGI has progressively declined over the span of our study in association with decreased open and increased endovascular aortic aneurysm repairs. Aortic surgery for AGI is associated with very high morbidity and mortality rates along with prolonged lengths of stay and elevated hospital charges. The outcomes of operations for AGI are better in younger patients and higher volume hospitals.