site infection rate is not decreased by continuing postoperative
for the duration of postoperative drain placement after spinal surgery,
according to a recently presented study.
Richelle Takemoto, MD, shared her team’s findings here at the 2011
Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society.
“Infections of the spine exact a toll on both the patient and the
medical system,” Takemoto said. “Given the consequences of infection
following spine surgery and the lack of data with regard to the use of
antibiotics with drains, our study sought to evaluate the utilization of
antibiotics for 24 hours versus antibiotics for the duration the drain is in
place — and to determine if there is a difference in incidence of
infection between these two groups.”
The researchers enrolled 315 patients who underwent multilevel
thoracolumbar spine surgery requiring a postoperative drain, randomizing these
patients into two groups: one which received 24 hours of perioperative
antibiotics and one which received antibiotics for the duration of
postoperative drain placement. Data on demographics, comorbidities, spine
surgery type and surgical site infection were collected.
According to the study results, 13 of the 170 patients (7.6%) who
received 24 hours of antibiotics sustained a surgical site infection, while 21
of the 145 patients (14.5%) in the group that received antibiotics for the
duration of the postoperative drain sustained a surgical site infection.
Takemoto noted this difference was significant.
“Antibiotics should be limited to 24 hours after spine surgery,
regardless of the duration a postoperative drain is left in place,”
- Ricart-Hoffiz PA, Takemoto R, Park J, et al. Prospective,
randomized study of surgical site infections with the use of perioperative
antibiotics for 24 hours versus the duration of a drain after spinal surgery.
Paper #47. Presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the North American Spine
Society. Nov. 2-5, 2011. Chicago.
- Disclosure: Takemoto has no relevant financial disclosures.
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