Laser Doppler flowmetry assessment of peristernal perfusion after cardiac surgery: beneficial effect of negative pressure therapy.
Negative pressure therapy has been successfully applied to clean, closed incisions in patients at high-risk for wound complications. Using laser Doppler flowmetry, we evaluated peristernal perfusion after cardiac surgery via median sternotomy, assessing the influence of mammary artery harvesting and the impact of negative pressure therapy. Twenty adult patients underwent median sternotomy for cardiac surgery followed by routine closure. Negative pressure was applied at 125 mm Hg for 4 days postoperatively in patients with increased risk for wound complications (n = 10, negative pressure group); standard dressings were applied to control incisions postoperatively (n = 10). Presternal perfusion was determined at baseline and daily for 4 days postoperatively using laser Doppler flowmetry. Results within and between groups were compared with analysis of variance. No wound complications were encountered in either group. Perfusion increased among the patients who underwent negative pressure therapy and decreased among the controls (P = 0.004). Mammary artery harvesting reduced peristernal perfusion by 25.7% in the controls, but negative pressure increased perfusion by 100% after mammary harvesting (P = 0.04). Negative pressure therapy increased perfusion relative to controls and compensated for reduced perfusion rendered by mammary artery harvesting, providing additional support for 'well wound therapy' in high-risk patients.
Atkins, BZ; Tetterton, JK; Petersen, RP; Hurley, K; Wolfe, WG
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