Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Ahead of Print.
OBJECTIVERetrospective studies have reported that the local application of vancomycin (VCM) powder into the operative field decreases the incidence of surgical site infection (SSI) in thoracic and/or lumbar fusion. Authors of the present study prospectively evaluated the effects of VCM in patients undergoing thoracic and/or lumbar fusion.METHODSIn this randomized double-blind trial, 230 patients undergoing thoracic and/or lumbar fusion were randomly assigned to the local administration of VCM (interventional group, 1 g) or ampicillin (AMP; control group, 1 g) into the surgical field. The primary outcome was SSI results within 1 year of surgery.RESULTSThe trial was prematurely stopped according to predetermined rules. The results showed one superficial infection (0.9%, Staphylococcus aureus) and one deep infection (0.9%, S. aureus) in the VCM group and two superficial infections (1.8%, Staphylococcus epidermidis and culture negative) and one deep infection (0.9%, methicillin-resistant S. aureus) in the AMP group. No significant differences in infection rates were observed between the groups (p = 0.8).CONCLUSIONSThis double-blind randomized controlled trial demonstrated that the local application of VCM or AMP powder into the operative field in short thoracic and/or lumbar fusion procedures resulted in a similar incidence of SSI.■ CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: therapeutic; study design: randomized controlled trial; evidence: class III.Clinical trial registration no.: UMIN000009377 (umin.ac.jp/ctr)