The impact of two radical sternectomy surgical techniques on the outcome of deep sternal wound infections

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



BACKGROUND: Deep sternal wound infection (DSWI) is a rare, yet devastating complication after cardiac surgery. While the surgical treatment always implies the soft tissue and bone debridement, there is little data about this procedure. The aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of the radical sternectomy on the outcome in patients with DSWI and to identify the risk factors which could influence the result. The surgical techniques of piecemeal sternectomy and the newly developed en bloc sternectomy were also evaluated.

METHODS: The study was developed as a retrospective cohort study. 86 patients with DSWI who received a radical sternal resection at our institution between March 2018 and December 2021 were included.

RESULTS: The average age of the cohort was 67.3 ± 7.4 years, and 23.3% of patients were female. The average length of stay trended shorter after en bloc sternectomy (median 26 days) compared to piecemeal sternectomy (37 days). There were no significant differences between the piecemeal and en bloc sternal resection techniques. Anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs had no significant influence on bleeding and transfusion rates. Obese patients showed an increased risk for postoperative bleeding requiring reintervention. Transfusion of packed red blood cells was significantly associated with lower hemoglobin values before surgery and ASA Class 4 compared to ASA Class 3. The in-hospital mortality was 9.3%, with female sex and reintervention for bleeding as significant risk factors. Nine patients developed an infection relapse as a chronic fistula at the level of clavicula or ribs, with ASA Class 4 as a risk factor.

CONCLUSION: Radical sternectomy is a safe procedure to treat DSWI with compromised sternal bone. Both piecemeal and en bloc techniques ensure reliable results, while complications and mortality appear to be patient-related.


FachzeitschriftJournal of cardiothoracic surgery
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 24 Jan. 2024

Externe IDs

PubMedCentral PMC10809468
Scopus 85183335384
ORCID /0000-0003-4633-2695/work/152545502


Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung


  • Humans, Female, Middle Aged, Aged, Male, Retrospective Studies, Sternum/surgery, Anticoagulants, Hospital Mortality, Obesity