Surgical site infections after hysterectomy among HIV-infected women in the HAART era: a single institution's experience from 1999-2012

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Feb;210(2):117.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2013.08.037. Epub 2013 Aug 30.


Objective: We sought to determine risk factors associated with surgical site infection (SSI) among a cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women undergoing hysterectomy during the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Study design: This is a retrospective study of HIV-infected women who underwent a hysterectomy for benign indications at a tertiary care center. Electronic medical records were reviewed from January 1999 through December 2012. SSI was defined using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.

Results: There were 77 HIV-infected women who underwent a hysterectomy: 47 (61%) were abdominal; 16 (21%) were laparoscopic or robot-assisted; and 14 (18%) were vaginal. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome was diagnosed in 58% of patients, and 75% of patients self-reported use of highly active antiretroviral therapy at the time of surgery. There were 17 (22%) SSIs; 5 (29%) superficial incisional wound infections, 3 (18%) vaginal cuff cellulitis, and 9 (53%) pelvic abscesses were diagnosed. After multivariable logistic regression, preoperative albumin level (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.14; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.02-0.86) and minimally invasive hysterectomy (aOR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.03-0.84) were associated with decreased SSI. Preoperative absolute CD4 count was not associated with SSI (aOR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.99-1).

Conclusion: Low preoperative serum albumin levels and abdominal hysterectomy are associated with increased risk of SSIs in HIV-infected women.

Keywords: CD4 count; human immunodeficiency virus; hysterectomy; preoperative albumin; surgical site infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy* / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Serum Albumin / analysis*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology*


  • Serum Albumin