Systematic review and meta-analysis of triclosan-coated sutures for the prevention of surgical-site infection

Br J Surg. 2013 Mar;100(4):465-73. doi: 10.1002/bjs.9062. Epub 2013 Jan 21.


Background: Surgical-site infections (SSIs) increase morbidity and mortality in surgical patients and represent an economic burden to healthcare systems. Experiments have shown that triclosan-coated sutures (TCS) are beneficial in the prevention of SSI, although the results from individual randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are inconclusive. A meta-analysis of available RCTs was performed to evaluate the efficacy of TCS in the prevention of SSI.

Methods: A systematic search of PubMed, Embase, MEDLINE, Web of Science(®), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and internet-based trial registries for RCTs comparing the effect of TCS and conventional uncoated sutures on SSIs was conducted until June 2012. The primary outcome investigated was the incidence of SSI. Pooled relative risks with 95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) were estimated with RevMan 5.1.6.

Results: Seventeen RCTs involving 3720 participants were included. No heterogeneity of statistical significance across studies was observed. TCS showed a significant advantage in reducing the rate of SSI by 30 per cent (relative risk 0·70, 95 per cent c.i. 0·57 to 0·85; P < 0·001). Subgroup analyses revealed consistent results in favour of TCS in adult patients, abdominal procedures, and clean or clean-contaminated surgical wounds.

Conclusion: TCS demonstrated a significant beneficial effect in the prevention of SSI after surgery.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Publication Bias
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Sutures*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triclosan / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Triclosan