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Tissue Eng. 2000 Aug;6(4):401-11.

Surgical irrigation with pooled human immunoglobulin G to reduce post-operative spinal implant infection.

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Anthony G. Gristina Institute for Biomedical Research, Herndon, Virginia, USA.


A multiple-site, nonlethal rabbit surgical model of spinal implant infection was used to assess the efficacy of a spinal wound lavage to reduce post-operative infection from methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Multiple aqueous lavages of isotonic saline were compared to the same procedure using 1wt% pooled human immunoglobulin G (IgG) applied directly to the surgical implant sites. Visually observed clinically relevant signs of infection (e.g. , swelling, erythema, pus) were supported by bacterial enumeration from multiple biopsied tissue and bone sites post-mortem at 7 and 28 days post-challenge. Clinical signs of infection were significantly reduced in IgG-lavaged infected spinal sites. Bacterial enumeration also exhibited statistically significant reductions in soft tissues, bone and on K-wire spinal implants using IgG lavage compared with saline. Complete healing of all surgical wounds was seen after 28 days, although isolated fibrosed abscesses were observed in autopsied sites treated with both IgG and saline lavages. Local use of IgG wound lavage is proposed as supplementary infection prophylaxis against antibiotic resistant implant-centered or surgical wound infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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