Mycotic aneurysm

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An infected aneurysm[1] (also known as mycotic aneurysm or microbial arteritis) is an aneurysm arising from bacterial infection of the arterial wall. It can be a common complication of the hematogenous spread of bacterial infection.[2]

William Osler first used the term "mycotic aneurysm" in 1885 to describe a mushroom-shaped aneurysm in a patient with subacute bacterial endocarditis. This may create considerable confusion, since "mycotic" is typically used to define fungal infections. However, mycotic aneurysm is still used for all extracardiac or intracardiac aneurysms caused by infections, except for syphilitic aortitis.[3]

The term "infected aneurysm," proposed by Jarrett and associates[4] is more appropriate, since few infections involve fungi.[5] According to some authors, a more accurate term might have been endovascular infection or infective vasculitis, because mycotic aneurysms are not due to a fungal organism.[6]

Mycotic aneurysms account for 2.6% of aortic aneurysms.[3] For the clinician, early diagnosis is the cornerstone of effective treatment. Without medical or surgical management, catastrophic hemorrhage or uncontrolled sepsis may occur. However, symptomatology is frequently nonspecific during the early stages, so a high index of suspicion is required to make the diagnosis.[5]

Intracranial mycotic aneurysms (ICMAs) complicate about 2% to 3% of infective endocarditis (IE) cases, although as many as 15% to 29% of patients with IE have neurologic symptoms.[6]


  1. ^ Greenfield, Lazar J, and Michael W. Mulholland. Greenfield's Surgery: Scientific Principles and Practice. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Nut Williams & Wilkins, 2011. Print. Page 1563
  2. ^ Yang CY, Liu KL, Lee CW, et al. (2005). "Mycotic aortic aneurysm presenting initially as an aortic intramural air pocket". AJR Am J Roentgenol. 185 (2): 463–5. doi:10.2214/ajr.185.2.01850463. 
  3. ^ a b Bayer AS, Scheld WM. Endocarditis and intravascular infections. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone; 2000:888-892.
  4. ^ Jarrett F, Darling RC, Mundth ED, Austen WG. Experience with infected aneurysms of the abdominal aorta. Arch Surg. 1975;110:1281-1286.
  5. ^ a b Mycotic (Infected) Aneurysm Caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. Khosrow Afsari, et al. Infect Med. 2001;18(6)
  6. ^ a b