, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 455-460
Date: 02 Sep 2009

Surgical site infections in HIV-infected patients: Results from an Italian prospective multicenter observational study

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Abstract

Background:

The quality of life of the HIV-infected population in developed countries has substantially improved over the years. Accordingly, the clinical limitations in the surgical treatment of the HIV-infected patients are becoming fewer, and the number of HIV-infected patients undergoing surgical interventions of all types is increasing. However, available data on the incidence and risk factors for post-surgical complications, such as surgical site infections (SSI), in HIVinfected patients are still limited and often controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and the associated risk factors for SSI in HIV-infected patients.

Methods:

A 1-year observational prospective multicenter surveillance study was conducted in 11 Italian Infectious Diseases Clinical Centers from which 305 consecutive HIVinfected patients undergoing different surgical procedures were enrolled. Postdischarge surveillance was conducted within 30 days after surgery. A number of variables were included in a multivariate analysis aimed at assessing potential risk factors for SSI, including body mass index, diabetes, Hepatitis C (HCV) and hepatitis B virus infection, lipodistrophy, HIV viral load, CD4 cell count and white blood cell count, preoperative hospital stay, National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance (NNIS) risk score, and any antimicrobial prophylaxis.

Results:

SSI occurred in 29 of 305 (9.5%) patients, of which 17 (58.6%) SSI occurred during hospital stay, and 12 (41.4%) occurred during the postdischarge period. The SSI of the 29 patients were classified as superficial (21, 72.4%), deep (four, 13.8%), organ/space (one, 3.4%), and sepsis (three, 10.3%). Nearly 50% of the superficial and 50% of the deep SSI occurred during the postdischarge period. Organ/space infection and sepsis accounted for 13.7% of all SSI and were observed during the in-hospital stay. The multivariate analysis revealed that HCV co-infection was significantly associated to SSI occurrence. Total hospital stay was longer among patients with SSI than among those without SSI (p = 0.041).

Conclusion:

Although 92.5% of our HIV-infected patients presented a NNIS score ≤ 1, the SSI rate was twofold higher than that reported in Italian and European studies for the general population, with more severe clinical presentations. This is the first report of an association between HCV–HIV co-infection and SSI occurrence. Additionally, the viroimmunological status of our patients was not related to SSI occurrence, which suggests the need for further research for other potential risk factors that may be implicated in the occurrence of SSI.