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January 1987

Surface Biofilm Disruption: Enhanced Recovery of Microorganisms From Vascular Prostheses

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Arch Surg. 1987;122(1):38-43. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1987.01400130044006

• Ultrasonic oscillation (sonication) of explanted vascular prosthetic graft material can disrupt surface biofilms and increase the recovery of adherent microorganisms. Recovery of microorganisms from vascular grafts was studied in a canine model of Staphylococcus epidermidis graft contamination (N = 26) and on graft material excised from patients undergoing femoral anastomotic pseudoaneurysm repair (N = 7). Surface biofilm disruption by sonication significantly increased the incidence of positive cultures of excised graft material compared with broth (P<.010) and blood agar plate (P<.005) culture techniques. The S epidermidis was recovered from 31% of the canine vascular grafts and 100% of the clinical specimens. The in vitro production of a glycocalyx "slime" was demonstrated in 73% of the recovered staphylococcal strains. The formation of an adherent bacteria biofilm on implanted vascular prostheses is not an uncommon occurrence and is an important factor in the pathogenesis of anastomotic pseudoaneurysm formation and late graft infection.

(Arch Surg 1987;122:38-43)