Paper of the week: Use of incisional vacuum-assisted closure in the prevention of postoperative infection in high-risk patients who underwent spine surgery: a proof-of-concept study. Dyck BA, Bailey CS, Steyn C, Petrakis J, Urquhart JC, Raj R, Rasoulinejad P. J Neurosurg Spine. 2019 May 10:1-10. doi: 10.3171/2019.2.SPINE18947.
Summary by Dr Sreeram Penna
In this study researchers wanted to see if use of incisional vacuum assisted closure resulted in lower surgical site infections in high-risk patients who underwent spine surgery. A total of 64 patients were included In this proof of concept study. 21 patients received incisional vacuum assisted closure and and 43 diagnosis matched patients received standard dressings. Patients undergoing vacuum assisted closure met criteria for high risk of infection including posterior open surgery across the cervicothoracic junction; thoracic kyphosis due to metastatic disease; high-energy trauma; or multilevel revision reconstructive surgery. They also met one or more co-morbidity criteria, including body mass index 35 more, body mass index below 18.5, diabetes, previous radiation at surgical site, chemotherapy, steroid use, bedridden state, large traumatic soft-tissue disruption, or immunocompromised state. Although not statistically significant (p=0.314) vacuum assisted closure had lower infection rate 10% (2/21) compared to standard dressings 21% (9/43). This study demonstrates possible utility of vacuum assisted closure to reduce surgical site infections in high risk spine surgery patients.