European journal of vascular and endovascular surgery : the official journal of the European Society for Vascular Surgery, Volume 63, Issue 5, 11 2 2022, Pages 743-750 Aortic and Iliac Involvement in Brucellosis - A Rare but Life Threatening Manifestation: A Review of the Literature. Willems SA, Brouwers JJWM, Eefting D

Objective

Brucellosis is the most common zoonosis worldwide. Although cardiovascular complications in human brucellosis comprise only 3% of morbidity, they are the principal cause of death. Endocarditis covers the majority of these cases. Infected aneurysms and ulcerative processes of the aorta are rare but can be life threatening as well. Currently, limited information is available about aortic and iliac involvement in brucellosis.

Methods

A PubMed, Web of Science, and AccessMedicine search (without restriction on language or year of publication) was performed to identify relevant articles on aortic and iliac involvement in brucellosis. Case reports were eligible for inclusion if they reported on thoracic, abdominal, or iliac aortic pathology caused by Brucella.

Results

Seventy-one cases were identified over the last 70 years, with an overall mortality rate of 22%. Most of the patients were male (86%) and had a history of Brucella exposure (66%). Approximately one quarter (23%) contracted Brucella while travelling in a (hyper)endemic region. Almost half of the infections were located in the abdominal aorta (49%), followed by the ascending (37%) and descending (13%) thoracic aorta. Infected aneurysms (61%) and ulcerative processes (16%) were seen most frequently. Aortic rupture was present in 31% of cases and occurred mainly in the abdominal (49%) and descending thoracic aorta (44%). The majority of all patients (59%) underwent open surgery combined with long term antibiotics. Over the past 15 years, a trend towards endovascular treatment was observed.

Conclusion

Although aortic and iliac involvement in brucellosis is rare, it can be a life threatening manifestation. Due to low awareness, this infection may represent an under reported disease. The therapeutic cornerstone in these cases remains open surgery combined with antibiotics. The role of endovascular treatment is yet to be decided, in which the condition of the patient and the risks of long term complications need to be considered.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2022 2;63(5):743-750