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J Vasc Surg. 2007 Jul;46(1):148-55.

Prevention of infection in peripheral arterial reconstruction: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Vascular Surgery, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Great Western Road, Gloucester, United Kingdom.



The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the effectiveness of perioperative strategies to prevent infection in patients undergoing peripheral arterial reconstruction.


All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating measures intended to reduce or prevent infection in arterial surgery were identified through searches of the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group specialized trials register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and reference lists of relevant articles. Two authors independently selected and assessed the quality of included trials. Relative risk (RR) was used as a measure of effect for each dichotomous outcome.


The study included 34 RCTs. Of these, 22 were trials of prophylactic systemic antibiotics, 3 of rifampicin-bonded grafts, 3 of preoperative skin antisepsis, 2 of suction wound drainage, 2 of minimally invasive in situ bypass techniques, and individual trials of intraoperative glove change and wound closure techniques. Wound infection or early graft infection outcomes were recorded in all trials. Only two trials, both of rifampicin bonding, followed up graft infection outcomes to 2 years. Prophylactic systemic antibiotics reduced the risk of wound infection (RR, 0.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.17 to 0.38) and early graft infection in a fixed-effect model (RR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.85, P = .02). Antibiotic prophylaxis for >24 hours appeared to be of no added benefit (RR, 1.28; 95% CI, 0.82 to 1.98). There was no evidence that prophylactic rifampicin bonding to Dacron grafts reduced graft infection at 1 month (RR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.27 to 1.49), or 2 years (RR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.46 to 2.40). There was no evidence of a beneficial or detrimental effect on rates of wound infection with suction groin wound drainage (RR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.50 to 1.86) or from preoperative bathing with antiseptic agents compared with unmedicated bathing (RR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.70 to 1.36).


There is clear evidence of the benefit of prophylactic broad-spectrum antibiotics for vascular reconstruction. Many other interventions intended to reduce the risk of infection in arterial reconstruction lack evidence of effectiveness.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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