Dr. Kibbe

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics and Risk of Aortic Aneurysm

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Kibbe

Dr. Kibbe

Melina R. Kibbe, MD, FACS, FAHA
Colin G. Thomas Jr. Distinguished Professor and Chair
Department of Surgery
Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7050

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Fluoroquinolones are a commonly prescribed antibiotic.  Recent data from Taiwan, Sweden, and Canada suggests that the use of fluoroquinolones increase the short-term risk of aneurysm formation in certain older patient  populations.  As such, the FDA issued a warning in 2018 regarding the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics suggesting that this class of antibiotics should not be used in patients at increased risk.

The FDA defined the high risk population as those with a history of aneurysms or blockages, high blood pressure, certain genetic disorders related to blood vessels, and the elderly.  However, we hypothesized that this risk of taking fluoroquinolones extends to all patient populations and not just high risk patient populations. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

 Response: We found that all patients above the age of 35 years are at an increased short term risk of forming aneurysms after taking fluoroquinolones, even after adjusting for known risk factors for aneurysm formation.  

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Our study was limited to patients with no prior history of aneurysm.  It will be important to examine in future studies if patients with a pre-existing aneurysm are at an increased risk for growth of the aneurysm or rupture of the aneurysm, which can be deadly, after taking fluoroquinolones.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: We hope that the FDA will consider the data from our research study and broaden the warning related to fluoroquinolone use to all patients above the age of 35, regardless of risk.

The authors have no financial disclosures related to the topic of this research.


Newton ER, Akerman AW, Strassle PD, Kibbe MR. Association of Fluoroquinolone Use With Short-term Risk of Development of Aortic Aneurysm. JAMA Surg. Published online January 06, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.6165

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Last Updated on January 8, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD