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Ann Thorac Surg. 1996 Jan;61(1):195-201.

Closed drainage using Redon catheters for local treatment of poststernotomy mediastinitis.

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Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Bichat, Paris, France.



Continuous irrigation has been used worldwide for the treatment of acute poststernotomy mediastinitis. However, its high rate of failure led to the development of new methods, among them closed drainage with Redon catheters.


We evaluated the results obtained with Redon catheters in 70 patients, and compared them to those obtained in 38 patients treated with continuous irrigation.


The two treatment groups were not different for age, type of cardiac operation, and initial severity of illness. Local failure of Redon catheter drainage occurred less frequently (20 of 38 versus 9 of 70 patients; p = 0.0001). This reduced failure rate was mainly attributable to a lower incidence of superinfections (10 of 38 versus 2 of 70 patients; p = 0.0002), but also to a lower incidence of primary failure (10 of 38 versus 7 of 70 patients; p = 0.026). Mortality was significantly decreased (15 of 38 versus 12 of 70 patients; p = 0.01). The other major advantage of this technique was the simplicity of its use.


The technique using Redon catheters should be considered an effective and convenient treatment of acute poststernotomy mediastinitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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