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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 99-B, Issue 10 | Pages 1354 - 1365
1 Oct 2017
Patrick S McDowell A Lee A Frau A Martin U Gardner E McLorinan G Eames N


The aim of this study was to determine whether the sequential application of povidone iodine-alcohol (PVI) followed by chlorhexidine gluconate-alcohol (CHG) would reduce surgical wound contamination to a greater extent than PVI applied twice in patients undergoing spinal surgery.

Patients and Methods

A single-centre, interventional, two arm, parallel group randomised controlled trial was undertaken, involving 407 patients who underwent elective spinal surgery.

For 203 patients, the skin was disinfected before surgery using PVI (10% [w/w (1% w/w available iodine)] in 95% industrial denatured alcohol, povidone iodine; Videne Alcoholic Tincture) twice, and for 204 patients using PVI once followed by CHG (2% [w/v] chlorhexidine gluconate in 70% [v/v] isopropyl alcohol; Chloraprep with tint). The primary outcome measure was contamination of the wound determined by aerobic and anaerobic bacterial growth from samples taken after disinfection.