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Prophylaxis of sternal wound infections with gentamicin-collagen implant: randomized controlled study in cardiac surgery.

Author(s): Eklund AM, Valtonen M, Werkkala KA

Affiliation(s): Department of Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Jorvi Hospital, Turuntie 150, FIN-02740 Espoo, Finland. anne.eklund@fimnet.fi

Publication date & source: 2005-02, J Hosp Infect., 59(2):108-12.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

Postoperative infections may lead to prolonged hospital stay and increased morbidity, mortality and hospital costs, especially in heart surgery. Finding new means to prevent infections would benefit both the patient and society. The aim of this study was to assess if locally administered gentamicin prevents sternal wound infections in coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery. We randomized 542 consecutive CABG patients to two groups: those who received gentamicin-collagen implant under their sternum before closure (N=272) and controls (N=270). The subjects received routine intravenous antimicrobial prophylaxis (85% cefuroxime, 14% cefuroxime and vancomycin), and were followed-up for three months. The sternal wound infection rate was 4.0% (11/272) in the gentamicin group and 5.9% (16/270) in the control group. The mediastinitis rates were 1.1 and 1.9%, respectively. This treatment was safe and easy to administer, and no side-effects occurred. No statistically significant difference was demonstrated between infection rates in the two groups. This is the first study on the use of gentamicin-collagen sponge as prophylaxis in cardiac surgery. Our data show that infection was reduced slightly in the gentamicin-collagen group compared with the control group, but the study population was too small to draw conclusions. Further evaluation is needed, and the results may warrant another larger, better-powered study.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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