Article Abstract

Platelet-leukocyte rich gel application in the prevention of deep sternal wound problems after cardiac surgery in obese diabetic patients

Authors: Harry Vermeer, Silvia S. F. Aalders-Bouhuijs, Jacoline Steinfelder-Visscher, Stefan M. van der Heide, Wim J. Morshuis


Background: Deep sternal wound problems (DSWP) are a rare, but serious complication following cardiac surgery requiring extensive medical treatment and resulting in increased mortality. Cardiac surgery patients presenting with both obesity and diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM 2) showed an increased incidence of DSWP in our clinic. As platelets upon activation have been shown to excrete growth factors and attractants for tissue stem cells, thus potentially promoting tissue healing, we investigated whether activated platelets could reduce the incidence of DSWP.
Methods: We applied activated autologous platelet rich plasma (PRP), forming a gel (PLG), between the sternal halves immediately prior to closure in obese [body mass index (BMI) >30] DM 2 cardiac surgery patients. The reference group constituted of all elective patients with a BMI >30 and DM 2 operated upon in the 2-year period before the application of PLG.
Results: The PLG treated group (n=144) showed a significant decrease in DSWP compared to the reference group (n=118), 6 DSWP vs. 13 DSWP respectively, P=0.03. In these groups the application of PLG was associated with a risk reduction for DSWP from 11% to 4.2%.
Conclusions: These results suggest PLG application could be beneficial to prevent DSWP following cardiac surgery in a high-risk population.