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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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De Feo M., Gregorio R., Renzulli A., Ismeno G., Romano G. P., Cotrufo M.
From the Institute of Cardiac Surgery Second University of Naples V. Monaldi Hospital, Naples, Italy
Background. The authors report their experience with granulated sugar as dressing technique in the treatment of postoperative mediastinitis refractory to a closed irrigation system.
Methods. Between January 1990 and January 1998, mediastinitis developed in 61 (0,93%) of 6521 patients who had undergone open heart surgery. Diagnosis of sternal infections was based on wound tenderness, drainage, cellulitis, fever associated with sternal instability. All of them were initially treated with surgical debridement and closed chest irrigation. Nine patients with postcardiotomy mediastinitis refractory to closed chest irrigation underwent open dressing with granulated sugar. All of them were febrile with leukocytosis and positive wound cultures.
Results. Bacteria isolated were staphylococcus aureus in 6 cases, staphylococcus epidermidis in 2 and pseudomonas in 1. Redebridement was performed in all cases and the wound was filled with granulated sugar four times a day. Fever ceased within 4.3±1.3 days from the beginning of treatment and WBC became normal after 6.6±1.6 days. Three patients had hyperbaric therapy as associated treatment. Complete wound healing was achieved in 58.8±32.9 days (three patients underwent successful pectoralis muscle flaps).
Conclusions. Sugar treatment is a reasonable and effective option in patients with mediastinitis refractory to closed irrigation treatment. It may be used either as primary treatment or as a bridge to pectoralis muscle flaps.