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Cefuroxime versus cefazolin as prophylaxis in vascular surgery.

Author(s): Edwards WH Jr, Kaiser AB, Kernodle DS, Appleby TC, Edwards WH Sr, Martin RS 3rd, Mulherin JL Jr, Wood CA Jr

Affiliation(s): Department of Surgery, St. Thomas Hospital, Nashville, TN.

Publication date & source: 1992-01, J Vasc Surg., 15(1):35-41

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

Although cefazolin prophylaxis has proven efficacy in vascular surgery, Staphylococcus aureus wound infections are still an important postoperative complication. In cardiac surgery, cefazolin's susceptibility to hydrolysis by staphylococcal beta-lactamase has been proposed to account for some prophylaxis failures. To determine whether the incidence of vascular wound infections can be reduced by administering a more beta-lactamase-stable cephalosporin, we undertook a prospective, randomized trial of cefuroxime versus cefazolin. Cefuroxime was administered as a 1.5 gm dose before operation and 750 mg every 3 hours during operation. Cefazolin was given as 1 gm before operation and 500 mg every 4 hours during operation. Both agents were continued every 6 hours after operation for 24 hours. Deep wound infections developed in seven of 272 (2.6%) cefuroxime and three of 287 (1.0%) cefazolin recipients (p = 0.2). Staphylococcus aureus wound infections occurred in five cefuroxime versus two cefazolin recipients. In vitro evaluation of six of the study isolates plus an additional eight S. aureus strains from vascular wound infections showed greater susceptibility of the strains to cefazolin than cefuroxime (median minimal inhibitory concentrations of 0.5 and 2.0 micrograms/ml, respectively, p less than 0.05). Furthermore, despite its more frequent intraoperative redosing, cefuroxime exhibited lower trough serum concentrations than cefazolin. Among cefuroxime recipients, infection-associated procedures were significantly longer than infection-free procedures (p less than 0.05), suggesting that low tissue antibiotic concentrations may have contributed to the pathogenesis of these infections. In contrast, the length of the procedure was not a risk factor for infection among cefazolin recipients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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