Daoud, Frederic C., Edmiston, Charles E. and Leaper, David J. (2014) Meta-Analysis of Prevention of Surgical Site Infections following Incision Closure with Triclosan-Coated Sutures: Robustness to New Evidence. Surgical Infections, 15 (3). pp. 165-181. ISSN 1096-2964

Background: A systematic literature review (SLR) and meta-analysis of surgical site infections (SSIs) after surgical incision closure with triclosan-coated sutures (TS) compared with non-antibacterial coated sutures (NTS) published previously by the authors suggested that fewer SSIs occurred in the TS study arm. However, the results were vulnerable to the removal of one key randomized controlled trial (RCT) because of insufficient data. Furthermore, recently published RCTs highlighted the need for an update of the SLR to challenge the robustness of results.

Methods: The protocol for the new SLR included more stringent tests of robustness than used initially and the meta-analysis was updated with the results of two new RCTs as well as the count of patients and SSIs by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) incision class.

Results: The updated SLR included 15 RCTs with 4,800 patients. No publication bias was suggested in the analysis. The predominant effect estimated a relative risk of 0.67 (95% CI: 0.54–0.84, p=0.00053) with an overall lower frequency of SSI in the TS arm than in the NTS arm. Results were robust to sensitivity analysis.

Conclusions: The two additional peer-reviewed double-blind RCTs of this update confirmed the predominant effect found in the authors' previous meta-analysis and established the robustness of conclusions that were lacking previously. This SLR and meta-analysis showed that the use of triclosan antimicrobial sutures reduced the incidence of SSI after clean, clean-contaminated, and contaminated surgery. The two additional peer-reviewed double blind RCTs reinforced the evidence level of this SLR (CEBM level 1a).

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