September 1997

Wound Tissue Oxygen Tension Predicts the Risk of Wound Infection in Surgical Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Anesthesia (Dr Hopf), Surgery (Drs Hopf, Hunt, West, Goodson, and Jensen), and Biopharmaceutical Sciences (Dr Upton), University of California, San Francisco; the Department of Surgery, University of Lund, Malmö, Sweden (Drs Blomquist and Jonsson); the Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (Dr Paty); the Department of Surgery, University of Oregon, Portland (Dr Rabkin); the Fourth Department of Surgery, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (Dr von Smitten); and the Department of Physiological Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle (Dr Whitney).

Arch Surg. 1997;132(9):997-1004. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430330063010

Objective:  To test the hypothesis that subcutaneous wound oxygen tension (PsqO2) has a predictive relation to the development of wound infection in surgical patients.

Design:  A noninterventional, prospective study.

Setting:  A university department of surgery.

Patients:  One hundred thirty operative general surgical patients at notable risk of infection as predicted by an anticipated Study on the Effect of Nosocomial Infection Control (SENIC) score of 1 or greater.

Outcome Measures:  PsqO2 was measured perioperatively. Its relation to the subsequent incidence of surgical wound infection was then determined and compared with the SENIC score as a criterion standard.

Results:  Although the SENIC score and PsqO2 are inversely correlated, PsqO2 is the stronger predictor of infection. Low PsqO2 identified patients at risk and concentrated them in a cohort that was about half the size of that identified by the SENIC score.

Conclusions:  Subcutaneous perfusion and oxygenation are important components of immunity to wound infections. The SENIC score identifies systemic physiological variables that are important to the development of wound infection. Nevertheless, PsqO2More-he more powerful predictor of wound infection. Moreover, PPsqO can be manipulated by available clinical means, and thus may direct interventions to prevent infection.Arch Surg. 1997;132:997-1004