Original Article

Deep sternal wound infection after cardiac surgery in the Chinese population: a single-centre 15-year retrospective study

Liang Pan, Ran Mo, Qing Zhou, Dongjin Wang


Background: Deep sternal wound infection (DSWI) is a severe complication following cardiac surgery. A retrospective study was implemented to determine the risks and clinical characteristics of DSWI after cardiac operation in the Chinese population.
Methods: We analysed 7,944 consecutive patients who underwent cardiac surgery via median sternotomy from January 2002 to December 2016 at our institution. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors for DSWI.
Results: A total of 106 patients (1.33%) suffered from DSWI; significant risk factors included body mass index (BMI) (P=0.02; OR=1.08; 95% CI: 1.01–1.16) and reoperation (P<0.01; OR=5.93; 95% CI: 2.88–12.25). The most common bacterium involved in DSWI was staphylococcus aureus (23%). Among all DSWI patients, the overall survival rate of the group treated with flap reconstruction was significantly higher than that in the group treated with intravenous antibiotics and sternal debridement (87% vs. 59%, P=0.01).
Conclusions: DSWI was associated with several risk factors. Effective intervention strategies could improve the outcome of patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

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