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Infection of intravascular prostheses: how to treat other than surgery.

Utili, Riccardo; Durante-Mangoni, Emanuele; Tripodi, Marie-Françoise.
Int J Antimicrob Agents; 30 Suppl 1: S42-50, 2007 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17869069
Long-term antimicrobial therapy may be effective in some patients with intravascular prosthesis infection. However, this approach does not represent an alternative to surgery when this is feasible, but is merely the best opportunity for patients too ill to tolerate a re-intervention. Prosthetic valve endocarditis may be treated with antibiotic therapy alone in selected patients who are haemodynamically stable with non-staphylococcal infections and no para-valvular complications. In contrast, infections of pacemaker leads or other implantable cardiac devices require complete hardware removal, as infection recurrence always occurs, even after a seemingly effective initial treatment. Attempts to treat conservatively infections of abdominal aortic grafts can be successful in a few cases, provided the patient is stable, the pathogen has been identified, and antibiotic susceptibility has been demonstrated. Treatment requires at least 4-6 weeks and may be followed by a sequential oral regimen once the acute phase of the infection has subsided. The correct duration of this treatment is often unknown and relapses are common after treatment withdrawal. The availability of novel antibacterial and antifungal agents - showing fast microbicidal activity that includes biofilm micro-organisms - such as daptomycin and caspofungin, or having a wide antimicrobial spectrum, such as tigecycline, may increase the probability of long-standing suppression or even eradication of the infection in these particular subsets of inoperable patients. However, so far, very little experience is available on the efficacy and tolerability of these drugs in intravascular prosthesis infections. Controlled studies are lacking and difficult to plan. Well-designed prospective studies may help to establish guidelines and reach a multidisciplinary consensus on the optimal therapeutic approach, and are therefore awaited.
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