Background: Surgical site infection
(SSI) after open cranial vault reconstruction
(CVR), while relatively uncommon, has received little attention in the literature to date. Here, the authors report our institution's experience with the perioperative management of infectious complications following CVR for craniosynostosis
and present the first systematic review of the literature on this topic.
The authors performed a retrospective chart review for patients with syndromic and nonsyndromic craniosynostosis
who underwent open CVR between 1990 and 2015 at a single institution to determine predictors of SSIs and a systematic review of studies that evaluated for SSI after CVR to ascertain the pooled incidence of SSI, common infectious organisms, and prophylactic antibiotic protocols.
Out of 548 primary and 163 secondary CVR cases at our institution, 6 primary reconstruction patients (1.09%) and 9 secondary reconstruction patients (5.52%) developed an SSI requiring extended hospital stay or readmission (P
<0.001); overall infection
rate was 2.11%. Streptococcus
species were the most common organisms isolated. On multivariate analysis, syndromic status conferred more than 7 times greater odds of SSI (OR 7.7, P
= 0.023). Pooled analysis of the literature yielded an overall SSI rate of 1.05% to 2.01%. In contrast to our institutional findings, the most common organisms reported were Candida
species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
. The most common prophylactic antibiotic protocol was a first-generation cephalosporin for 24 to 72 hours post-operatively.
Patients undergoing secondary reconstruction have higher infection
rates after CVR, and syndromic status is an important predictor of infection
when controlling for other patient factors. Our literature review reveals nosocomial organisms to be the most commonly reported source of infection
, though this is contrary to our institutional findings of skin flora being most common. Antibiotic prophylaxis varies institutionally.