Prophylactic use of intraoperative vancomycin powder and postoperative infection: an analysis of microbiological patterns in 1200 consecutive surgical cases.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE Wound infections following spinal surgery for deformity place a high toll on patients, providers, and the health care system. The prophylactic application of intraoperative vancomycin powder has been shown to lower the infection risk after thoracolumbar decompression and fusion for deformity correction. The purpose of this study was to assess the microbiological patterns of postoperative surgical site infections (SSIs) after prophylactic use of vancomycin powder in adult patients undergoing spinal deformity surgery. METHODS All cases involving adult patients who underwent spinal deformity reconstruction at Duke University Medical Center between 2011 and 2013 with a minimum of 3 months of clinical follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. In all cases included in the study, crystalline vancomycin powder was applied to the surgical bed for infection prophylaxis. Baseline characteristics, operative details, rates of wound infection, and microbiological data for each case were gathered by direct medical record review. RESULTS A total of 1200 consecutive spine operations were performed for deformity between 2011 and 2013. Review of the associated records demonstrated 34 cases of SSI, yielding an SSI rate of 2.83%. The patients' mean age (± SD) was 62.08 ± 14.76 years. The patients' mean body mass index was 30.86 ± 7.15 kg/m2 , and 29.41% had a history of diabetes. The average dose of vancomycin powder was 1.41 ± 2.77 g (range 1-7 g). Subfascial drains were placed in 88% of patients. All SSIs occurred within 30 days of surgery, with deep wound infections accounting for 50%. In 74% of the SSIs cultures were positive, with about half the organisms being gram negative, such as Citrobacter freundii, Proteus mirabilis, Morganella morgani, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. There were no adverse clinical outcomes related to the local application of vancomycin. CONCLUSIONS Our study suggests that in the setting of prophylactic vancomycin powder use, the preponderance of SSIs are caused by gram-negative organisms or are polymicrobial. Further randomized control trials of prophylactic adjunctive measures are warranted to help guide the choice of empirical antibiotic therapy while awaiting culture data.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Adogwa, O; Elsamadicy, AA; Sergesketter, A; Vuong, VD; Mehta, AI; Vasquez, RA; Cheng, J; Bagley, CA; Karikari, IO

Published Date

  • September 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 328 - 334

PubMed ID

  • 28665245

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1547-5646

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1547-5654

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3171/2017.2.spine161310


  • eng