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Scand Cardiovasc J. 2019 Jul 10:1-25. doi: 10.1080/14017431.2019.1642508. [Epub ahead of print]

Mediastinitis in open heart surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis of risk factors.

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a Centre of Clinical Heart Research, Oslo University Hospital , Norway.
b Epidemiology and Biological Statistics, Independent Health Research Unit , Oslo , Norway.
c Oslo Centre of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Oslo University Hospital , Norway.
d Department of Cardiovascular surgery , Oslo University Hospital , Norway.
e Department of Cardiovascular Surgery , LHL Hospital , Gardemoen , Norway.


Objective: We aimed to summarize the evidence from observational studies examining the risk factors of the incidence of mediastinitis in open heart surgery. Design: The study was a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohorts and case-control studies. Material and Methods: We searched the literature and 74 studies with at least one risk factor were identified. Both fixed and random effects models were used. Heterogeneity between studies was examined by subgroup and meta-regression analysis. Publication bias or small study effects were evaluated and corrected by limit meta-analysis. Results: When correcting for small study effect, presence of obesity as estimated from 43 studies had Odds Ratio OR =2.26. (95% CI: 2.17-2.36). This risk was increasing with decreasing latitude of study place. Presence of diabetes mellitus from 63 studies carried an OR =1.90 (95% CI: 1.59-2.27). Presence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) from 30 studies had an OR =2.59 (95% CI: 2.22-2.85). Presence of bilateral intramammary graft (BIMA) from 23 studies carried an OR =2.54 (95% CI: 2.07-3.13). This risk was increasing with increasing frequency of female patients in the study population. Conclusion: Evidence from this study showed the robustness of the risk factors in the pathogenesis of mediastinitis. Preventive measures can be implemented for reducing obesity, especially in lower latitude countries. Furthermore, it is mandatory to monitor perioperative hyperglycemias with continuous insulin infusion. Use of skeletonized BIMA carries higher risk of mediastinitis especially in female patients without evidence of beneficial effect on survival for the time being.


mediastinitis; meta-analysis; risk factors; systematic review

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