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  • Author or Editor: Ralph T. Schär x
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Shoichi Haimoto, Ralph T. Schär, Yusuke Nishimura, Masahito Hara, Toshihiko Wakabayashi and Howard J. Ginsberg

OBJECTIVE

Recent studies have demonstrated the efficacy of subfascial intrawound application of vancomycin powder in spine surgery in reducing the rate of surgical site infections (SSIs). However, to date no study has evaluated the efficacy and safety of suprafascial application of vancomycin powder in spine surgery. The purpose of this study was to quantify the rate of SSIs after open instrumented posterior spinal fusion with and without application of suprafascial vancomycin powder and to evaluate the rate of vancomycin powder–related local adverse effects.

METHODS

The authors conducted a single-center retrospective case-control study of adult patients undergoing open instrumented posterior fusion of the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine performed by a single surgeon from January 2010 through December 2016. In March 2013, routine application of 1 g of suprafascial vancomycin powder was started for all cases in addition to standard systemic antibiotic prophylaxis. Baseline demographics and operative data as well as the SSI rates were compared between the study groups. The incidence of vancomycin powder–related adverse effects was analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 515 patients (268 in the untreated group and 247 in the treated group) were included in the study. The mean age was significantly higher in the treated group than in the untreated group (58.4 vs 54.4 years, p < 0.01). Operative variables were similar between the study groups. Patients receiving vancomycin powder had a significantly lower infection rate (5.6% in the untreated group vs 0% in the treated group, p < 0.001). No vancomycin powder–related adverse effects were identified in the treated group.

CONCLUSIONS

Routine application of suprafascial intrawound vancomycin powder in addition to systemic antibiotic prophylaxis is an easy-to-use, safe, and effective strategy for preventing SSIs after instrumented posterior spinal fusion. Suprafascial application of vancomycin powder could be a valuable alternative to previously reported subfascial distribution, minimizing the risk of local adverse drug reactions.

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Ralph T. Schär, Shpend Tashi, Mattia Branca, Nicole Söll, Debora Cipriani, Christa Schwarz, Claudio Pollo, Philippe Schucht, Christian T. Ulrich, Jürgen Beck, Werner J. Z’Graggen and Andreas Raabe

OBJECTIVE

With global aging, elective craniotomies are increasingly being performed in elderly patients. There is a paucity of prospective studies evaluating the impact of these procedures on the geriatric population. The goal of this study was to assess the safety of elective craniotomies for elderly patients in modern neurosurgery.

METHODS

For this cohort study, adult patients, who underwent elective craniotomies between November 1, 2011, and October 31, 2018, were allocated to 3 age groups (group 1, < 65 years [n = 1008], group 2, ≥ 65 to < 75 [n = 315], and group 3, ≥ 75 [n = 129]). Primary outcome was the 30-day mortality after craniotomy. Secondary outcomes included rate of delayed extubation (> 1 hour), need for emergency head CT scan and reoperation within 48 hours after surgery, length of postoperative intensive or intermediate care unit stay, hospital length of stay (LOS), and rate of discharge to home. Adjustment for American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status (ASA PS) class, estimated blood loss, and duration of surgery were analyzed as a comparison using multiple logistic regression. For significant differences a post hoc analysis was performed.

RESULTS

In total, 1452 patients (mean age 55.4 ± 14.7 years) were included. The overall mortality rate was 0.55% (n = 8), with no significant differences between groups (group 1: 0.5% [95% binominal CI 0.2%, 1.2%]; group 2: 0.3% [95% binominal CI 0.0%, 1.7%]; group 3: 1.6% [95% binominal CI 0.2%, 5.5%]). Deceased patients had a significantly higher ASA PS class (2.88 ± 0.35 vs 2.42 ± 0.62; difference 0.46 [95% CI 0.03, 0.89]; p = 0.036) and increased estimated blood loss (1444 ± 1973 ml vs 436 ± 545 ml [95% CI 618, 1398]; p <0.001). Significant differences were found in the rate of postoperative head CT scans (group 1: 6.65% [n = 67], group 2: 7.30% [n = 23], group 3: 15.50% [n = 20]; p = 0.006), LOS (group 1: median 5 days [IQR 4; 7 days], group 2: 5 days [IQR 4; 7 days], and group 3: 7 days [5; 9 days]; p = 0.001), and rate of discharge to home (group 1: 79.0% [n = 796], group 2: 72.0% [n = 227], and group 3: 44.2% [n = 57]; p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Mortality following elective craniotomy was low in all age groups. Today, elective craniotomy for well-selected patients is safe, and for elderly patients, too. Elderly patients are more dependent on discharge to other hospitals and postacute care facilities after elective craniotomy.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01987648 (clinicaltrials.gov).