New sternal closure methods versus the standard closure method: Systematic review and meta-analysis

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Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate, by means of a systematic review, the efficiency of new methods for sternal closure in order to prevent sternal wound complications after sternotomy. Methods: The method of study was a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. We included studies that used rigid plates, thermoreactive clips, cables and flat wires, in comparison with the standard closure method. Patients included adults, regardless of gender and race. Results: Seven clinical trials were included involving 1810 patients. Five trials were carried out in the USA, 1 in Australia and 1 in Italy, and the trials include both male and female patients. The included studies compared conventional sternal closure with new closure methods (rigid plate, thermoreactive clips, cables and flat wires). The new sternal closure methods make little or no difference compared to the standard closure when we analyse deep sternal wound infection [risk ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.02-7.63; I2 = 74%; 5 studies], superficial wound infection (risk ratio 1.34, 95% CI 0.46-3.92; I2 = 11%, 3 studies) and death (risk ratio 1.16, 95% CI 0.42-3.21; I2 = 0%, 3 studies), but pain score was lower in new sternal closure methods (mean difference -0.57, 95% CI -0.98 to -0.16, I2 = 0%, 3 studies). There were no meta-analyses of sternal union, hospital stay, reoperation or mechanic ventilation time because of the high heterogeneity between the studies in terms of these outcomes. Conclusions: New sternal closure methods probably make little or no difference regarding the prevention of sternal complications in the postoperative period when compared to the standard closure method.




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Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, v. 28, n. 3, p. 432-440, 2019.

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