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Arch Surg. 1997 Sep;132(9):997-1004; discussion 1005.

Wound tissue oxygen tension predicts the risk of wound infection in surgical patients.

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Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco, USA.



To test the hypothesis that subcutaneous wound oxygen tension (PsqO2) has a predictive relation to the development of wound infection in surgical patients.


A noninterventional, prospective study.


A university department of surgery.


One hundred thirty operative general surgical patients at notable risk of infection as predicted by an anticipated Study on the Effect of Nosocomial Infection Control (SENIC) score of 1 or greater.


PsqO2 was measured perioperatively. Its relation to the subsequent incidence of surgical wound infection was then determined and compared with the SENIC score as a criterion standard.


Although the SENIC score and PsqO2 are inversely correlated, PsqO2 is the stronger predictor of infection. Low PsqO2 identified patients at risk and concentrated them in a cohort that was about half the size of that identified by the SENIC score.


Subcutaneous perfusion and oxygenation are important components of immunity to wound infections. The SENIC score identifies systemic physiological variables that are important to the development of wound infection. Nevertheless, PsqO2 is the more powerful predictor of wound infection. Moreover, PsqO2 can be manipulated by available clinical means, and thus may direct interventions to prevent infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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