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Predisposing factors for deep sternal wound infection after cardiac surgery


The aim of our study was to investigate perioperative risk factors associated with deep sternal wound infections in complicated cardiac surgery.


A total of 1,017 patients underwent cardiac surgery in a 2-year period. We investigate the correlation between deep sternal wound infection with the following 14 preoperative characteristics and perioperative parameters: age >75, female gender, diabetes mellitus (DM), insulin dependence, body mass index (BMI) >30, current smokers, COPD, cardiopulmonary bypass time (CBP) >120 minutes, use of steroids, emergency operation, prolonged mechanical ventilation (>48 hours), reintubation, transfusion with more than 3 units of red blood cells, and the postoperative use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV). The chi-square test was used for statistical analysis.


A total of 35 patients (3.44%) were complicated by deep sternal wound infections. No statistical correlation was found with age >75, gender, DM, BMI >30, steroids, emergent operation, prolonged ventilation, CBP time >120 minutes, reintubation and NIV. Factors with statistical significant correlation are presented in Table 1.

Table 1


Postoperative deep sternal wound infections have statistical significant correlation with the following parameters: transfusion with >3 red blood cell units, history of COPD, insulin dependence and when the patient is a current smoker. Also there is a tendency for correlation with CBP time >120 minutes (P = 0.056).


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Ampatzidou, F., Sileli, M., Madesis, A. et al. Predisposing factors for deep sternal wound infection after cardiac surgery. Crit Care 19 (Suppl 1), P10 (2015).

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  • Body Mass Index
  • Current Smoker
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Wind Infection
  • Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation