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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.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 80-B, Issue 4 | Pages 568 - 572
1 Jul 1998
Tunney MM Patrick S Gorman SP Nixon JR Anderson N Davis RI Hanna D Ramage G

Our aim was to determine if the detection rate of infection of total hip replacements could be improved by examining the removed prostheses. Immediate transfer of prostheses to an anaerobic atmosphere, followed by mild ultrasonication to dislodge adherent bacteria, resulted in the culture of quantifiable numbers of bacteria, from 26 of the 120 implants examined. The same bacterial species were cultured by routine microbiological techniques from only five corresponding tissue samples. Tissue removed from 18 of the culture-positive implants was suitable for quantitative tissue pathology and inflammatory cells were present in all samples. Furthermore, inflammatory cells were present in 87% of tissue samples taken from patients whose implants were culture-negative. This suggests that these implants may have been infected by bacteria which were not isolated by the techniques of culture used.

The increased detection of bacteria from prostheses by culture has improved postoperative antibiotic therapy and should reduce the need for further revision.