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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of single-dose prophylactic ampicillin and sulbactam on wound infection after tension-free inguinal hernia repair with polypropylene mesh: the randomized, double-blind, prospective trial.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the value of single-dose, intravenous, prophylactic ampicillin and sulbactam (AS) in the prevention of wound infections during open prosthetic inguinal hernia repair by a double-blind, prospective, randomized trial. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: The use of antibiotic prophylaxis during open prosthetic inguinal hernia surgery is controversial, and no prospective trial has been conducted to examine this issue. METHODS: Patients undergoing unilateral, primary inguinal hernia repair electively with the Lichtenstein technique using polypropylene mesh were randomized to receive 1.5 g intravenous AS before the incision or an equal volume of placebo according to a predetermined code of which the surgeons were unaware. Patients with recurrent, femoral, bilateral, giant, or incarcerated hernias or any systemic diseases were excluded. Age, sex, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, type of hernia, type of anesthesia, duration of surgery, and use of drains were recorded. Infection was defined according to the criteria of Centers for Disease Control. Patients were evaluated 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery by an independent surgeon. All complications were recorded. Results were assessed using chi-square, Fisher's exact, and Student t tests as appropriate. RESULTS: Between September 1996 and July 1998, 280 patients (140 AS, 140 placebo group) entered the protocol. Four patients from the AS group and seven from the placebo group were excluded because of inadvertent antibiotic administration or follow-up problems. Groups were well matched for all the variables studied and postoperative complications, excluding wound infections, which occurred at a rate of 0.7% in the AS group and 9% in the placebo group (P =.00153). Twelve patients in the placebo group developed wound infections, requiring five repeat hospital admissions in three patients. These three patients suffered deep infections reaching the graft, which resulted in graft loss in two. The single infected patient in the AS group had his graft removed as well because of deep persistent infection. CONCLUSIONS: This study documented a significant (10-fold) decrease in overall wound infections when single-dose, intravenous AS was used during Lichtenstein hernia repair. Deep infections and wound infection-related readmissions were also reduced by the use of AS. Proponents of mesh repairs may therefore be advised to use prophylactic single-dose intravenous antibiotic coverage in the light of the results of this trial. AS proved to be an effective antimicrobial agent.[1]


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