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Unusual source of fever: the curious case of an infected arterial stent graft presenting as a ruptured popliteal artery aneurysm
  1. Emily Kate Edwina Schmidt1 and
  2. Sherab Bhutia2
  1. 1General Surgery, Queensland Health, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Vascular Surgery, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emily Kate Edwina Schmidt;{at}


A 71-year-old man presented to the emergency department with a 1-week history of lethargy, general malaise and intermittent high fever. He had presented 18 months ago, and again 12 months earlier with similar symptoms. On this third presentation, the fever was accompanied by right thigh swelling and pain. The patient was referred to the vascular surgeons with concern regarding an infected vascular stent graft from previous treatment of popliteal artery aneurysms (PAA) 8 years earlier. CT angiogram demonstrated a collapsed right PAA sac with a large collection, consistent with ruptured PAA, and a single gas bubble around the indwelling stent graft. The patient recovered well after a course of antibiotics and surgical explantation of the graft. Infection is a potential complication of any implanted arterial advice, and needs to be considered even years after initial intervention and with no localising symptoms.

  • surgery
  • vascular surgery

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  • Contributors ES prepared the manuscript and performed the relevant literature review. SB supervised the clinical care of the patient and provided overall supervision.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.