Purpose: To assess whether a combined treatment of low-frequency (25 kHz) ultrasonic-debridement systems followed by vacuum-assisted wound closure (VAC) produces a better outcome in deep sternal wound infections (SWIs) compared to that of VAC alone.
Methods: We evaluated 45 consecutive patients (25 males) between January 2013 and December 2016, in whom deep SWI was treated with a combination of low-frequency ultrasonic debridement system followed by vacuum-assisted closure (group A, n = 23) or with only vacuum-assisted closure therapy (group B, n = 22). Our final step in both groups was a secondary wound closure with a musculocutaneous flap.
Results: In both groups, a similar variety of bacteria were isolated. The time between eradication and secondary wound closure was significantly shorter in group A (7.3 ± 4.8 vs. 19.9 ± 17.2 days, p = 0.001). After a third debridement session, 95.7% of microbiological cultures were negative in group A versus 54.5% in B ( p = 0.001). Duration of antibiotic treatment ( p = 0.003) and hospitalization time ( p = 0.0001) were significantly shorter in group A.
Conclusion: The use of low-frequency ultrasonic debridement system is an effective, less invasive technique to combat wound infection. In combination with vacuum-assisted closure therapy, we documented good mid-term results in our patients.
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