The effect of triclosan-coated sutures on the rate of surgical site infection after hip and knee arthroplasty: a double-blind randomized controlled trial of 2546 patients

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Abstract

Aims

Surgical site infection (SSI) is a common complication of surgery with an incidence of about 1% in the United Kingdom. Sutures can lead to the development of a SSI, as microorganisms can colonize the suture as it is implanted. Triclosan-coated sutures, being antimicrobical, were developed to reduce the rate of SSI. Our aim was to assess whether triclosan-coated sutures cause a reduction in SSIs following arthroplasty of the hip and knee.

Patients and Methods

This two-arm, parallel, double-blinded study involved 2546 patients undergoing elective total hip (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) at three hospitals. A total of 1323 were quasi-randomized to a standard suture group, and 1223 being quasi-randomized to the triclosan-coated suture group. The primary endpoint was the rate of SSI at 30 days postoperatively.

Results

The baseline characteristics of age, gender and comorbidities were well matched in the two groups. The rates of superficial SSI were 0.8% in the control group and 0.7% in the intervention group (p = 0.651), and when deep and superficial SSIs were combined the rates were 2.5% and 1.8 (p = 0.266). The length of stay in hospital and the rates of medical complications did not differ significantly between the groups (p = 1.000).

Conclusion

This trial provided no evidence that the use of triclosan-coated sutures in THA and TKA leads to a reduction in the rate of SSI.

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