Triclosan-coated sutures reduce surgical site infection after open vein harvesting in coronary artery bypass grafting patients: a randomized controlled trial

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2013 Nov;44(5):931-8. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezt063. Epub 2013 Feb 22.


Objectives: The incidence of surgical site infection (SSI) after open vein harvesting in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patients ranges in different studies between 2 and 20%. Triclosan is an antibacterial substance that reduces the growth of bacteria by inhibiting fatty acid synthesis. We hypothesized that wound closure with triclosan-coated sutures would reduce SSI after open vein harvesting.

Methods: An investigator-initiated prospective randomized double-blind single-centre study was performed with 374 patients, randomized to subcutaneous and intracutaneous leg-wound closure with either triclosan-coated sutures (Vicryl Plus and Monocryl Plus, Ethicon, Somerville, NJ, USA) (n = 184) or identical sutures without triclosan (n = 190) from the same manufacturer. All patients were followed up after 30 days (clinical visit) and 60 days (telephone interview). Primary endpoint was SSI within 60 days after surgery according to the definition of Center for Disease Control. Predefined secondary endpoints included culture-proven and antibiotic-treated SSI.

Results: The primary endpoint occurred in 23 patients (12.5%) with triclosan-coated sutures and in 38 patients (20.0%) in the group without triclosan (P = 0.0497, risk ratio 0.63, (95% confidence interval 0.39-1.00). Corresponding figures for culture-proven infections were 7.6 vs 12.1%, (P = 0.15), and for antibiotic-treated infections, 10.9 vs 18.4%, (P = 0.039). Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci were the most common pathogens in both groups. Insulin-treated diabetes and vein-harvesting time were associated with SSI after vein harvesting.

Conclusions: Leg-wound closure with triclosan-coated sutures in CABG patients reduces SSIs after open vein harvesting. ( number NCT01212315).

Keywords: Coronary artery bypass grafting; Surgical site infection; Sutures; Triclosan.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Infection / drug therapy
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Sutures*
  • Triclosan / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Triclosan

Associated data