Cryopreserved arterial allografts vs autologous vein for arterial reconstruction in infected fields

Armin Tabiei, Sebastian Cifuentes, Jill J. Colglazier, Fahad Shuja, Manju Kalra, Bernardo C. Mendes, Melinda S. Schaller, Todd E. Rasmussen, Randall R. DeMartino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Peripheral arterial infections are rare and difficult to treat when an in situ reconstruction is required. Autologous vein (AV) is the conduit of choice in many scenarios. However, cryopreserved arterial allografts (CAAs) are an alternative. We aimed to assess our experience with CAAs and AVs for reconstruction in primary and secondary peripheral arterial infections. Methods: Data from patients with peripheral arterial infections undergoing reconstruction with CAA or AV from January 2002 through August 2022 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients with aortic- or iliac-based infections were excluded. Results: A total of 42 patients (28 CAA, 14 AV) with a mean age of 65 and 69 years, respectively, were identified. Infections were secondary in 31 patients (74%) and primary in 11 (26%). Secondary infections included 10 femoral-femoral grafts, 10 femoropopliteal or femoral-distal grafts, five femoral patches, four carotid-subclavian grafts, one carotid-carotid graft, and one infected carotid patch. Primary infection locations included six femoral, three popliteal, and two subclavian arteries. In patients with lower extremity infections, associated groin infections were present in 19 (56%). Preoperative blood cultures were positive in 17 patients (41%). AVs included saphenous vein in eight and femoral vein in six. Intraoperative cultures were negative in nine patients (23%), polymicrobial in eight (21%), and monomicrobial in 22 (56%). Thirty-day mortality occurred in four patients (10%), two due to multisystem organ failure, one due to graft rupture causing acute blood loss and myocardial infarction, and one due to an unknown cause post-discharge. Median follow-up was 20 months and 46 months in the CAA and AV group, respectively. Graft-related reintervention was performed in six patients in the CAA group (21%) and one patient in the AV group (7%). Freedom from graft-related reintervention rates at 3 years were 82% and 92% in the CAA and AV group, respectively (P = .12). Survival rates at 1 and 3 years were 85% and 65% in the CAA group and 92% and 84% in the AV group (P = .13). Freedom from loss of primary patency was similar with 3-year rates of 77% and 83% in the CAA and AV group, respectively (P = .25). No patients in either group were diagnosed with reinfection. Conclusions: CAAs are an alternative conduit for peripheral arterial reconstructions when AV is not available. Although there was a trend towards higher graft-related reintervention rates in the CAA group, patency is similar and reinfection is rare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-947
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Allografts
  • Autologous vein
  • Graft infection
  • Vascular infection


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