Drain Tip Culture: Would It Help Us Predict and Prevent Surgical Site Infection After Spinal Surgery?

Volume 2 | Issue 1 | April-September 2021 | page: 19-22 | Bharat R. Dave, Ajay Krishnan, Ravi Ranjan Rai, Devanand Degulmadi, Shivanand Mayi, Kirit Jadhav

Authors: Bharat R. Dave [1], Ajay Krishnan [1], Ravi Ranjan Rai [1],
Devanand Degulmadi [1], Shivanand Mayi [1], Kirit Jadhav [1]

[1] Department of Spine Surgery, Stavya Spine Hospital and Research Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Ravi Ranjan Rai,
Consultant Spine Surgeon, Stavya Spine Hospital and Research Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.


Background: Systematic cultures of drain tips or drainage fluids are commonly used by surgical teams for the early detection of Surgical Site Infection (SSI), even in the absence of clinical suspicion of infection. However, their prognostic values are controversial.
Method: This was a prospective study of patients undergoing spine surgery at our institute during the study period. Patients already diagnosed with spine infection were excluded from the study. At the time of drain removal, the drain tip was cut and sent to microbiology laboratory for bacterial culture. All patients were treated with antimicrobial prophylaxis based on evidence-based guidelines and were monitored for at least 6 months after surgery for the development of Surgical Site Infection (SSI). SSI was defined according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.
Results: The study comprised of 183 patients including 85 males and 98 females. The rate of Surgical Site Infection in our study was 2.73 % (5 patients). Drain Tip Culture (DTC) was positive in 4 patients (2.18 %). Association of DTC with SSI was found to have high Specificity (98.31 %) and Negative Predictive Value (97.76 %) but low Sensitivity (20 %) and Positive Predictive Value (25 %).
Conclusion: Culture of drain tip after spine surgery does not conclusively predict the presence or absence of surgical site infection. However, statistical significance was observed between drain tip culture and surgical site infection with high specificity, high negative predictive value, low sensitivity and low positive predictive value.
Keywords: Drain tip culture; Spinal Surgery; Surgical site infection.


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How to Cite this Article:  Dave BR, Krishnan A, Rai RR, Degulmadi D, Mayi S, Jadhav K | Drain Tip Culture: Would It Help Us Predict and Prevent Surgical Site Infection After Spinal Surgery? | Back Bone: The Spine
Journal | April-September 2021; 2(1): 19-22.


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