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Am J Infect Control. 2012 Jun;40(5):431-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2011.06.005. Epub 2011 Sep 3.

Self-administered preoperative antiseptic wash to prevent postoperative infection after deep brain stimulation.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Center for Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Prevention of surgical site infections is critical in deep brain stimulation (DBS). In the present study, we tested the ability of a self-administered preoperative alcohol-based (70% ethyl alcohol) preparation to reduce the rate of postoperative infection after DBS surgery.


This Institutional Review Board-approved retrospective review was conducted at our institution between January 2005 and October 2007 (mean follow-up, 23 months). The participants comprised a consecutive sample of 172 patients with movement disorders who underwent DBS surgery at our institution. Starting in January 2007, all patients were required to use the alcohol-based preparation. These patients (n = 48) were instructed to self-administer the wash on the night before surgery and the morning of surgery. Before this time, no self-administered wash was used (n = 122).


There was no difference in preoperative skin cleansing between the 2 groups, and all patients received intravenous antibiotics immediately before and after surgery for 24 hours. We compared the rate of postoperative infection in the 2 groups and reviewed other possible factors underlying infection. We found 11 cases of infection (6.47%), all in the group without the preoperative antiseptic wash. The infection rate was 9.02% in the group without the preoperative wash and 0 in the group with the preoperative wash (P < .029). There was no difference between the 2 groups in terms of mean age, duration of operative procedure, or number of microelectrode tracts attempted.


Our results support the incorporation of this self-administered antiseptic wash into our standard antiseptic protocol for patients undergoing DBS surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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