Preoperative Staphylococcus Aureus Screening and Targeted Decolonization in Cardiac Surgery

Manoj K. Saraswat, Jonathan T. Magruder, Todd C. Crawford, Julia M. Gardner, Damon Duquaine, Marc S. Sussman, Lisa L. Maragakis, Glenn J. Whitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background We assessed the impact of preoperative Staphylococcus aureus screening and targeted decolonization on the incidence of postoperative methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) colonization, intensive care unit MRSA transmission, and surgical site infections in cardiac surgery patients. Methods We reviewed medical records for all adult patients during two periods: preintervention (January 2007 to April 2010) and intervention (January 2011 to December 2014). In the intervention period, we performed nasal screening for methicillin-sensitive S aureus and MRSA using polymerase chain reaction within 30 days of the operation. Colonized patients received intranasal mupirocin twice daily and chlorhexidine baths daily for 5 days; patients colonized with MRSA also received prophylactic vancomycin plus cefazolin with contact isolation precautions. Nasal surveillance for MRSA was performed on intensive care unit admission and weekly thereafter. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to determine risk factors for postoperative MRSA colonization, and surgical site infections and the impact of our screening program was assessed in these models. Poisson regression was used to assess MRSA transmission. Results Comparing 2,826 preintervention and 4,038 intervention patients, cases differed in age, diabetes mellitus, preoperative infection, preoperative length of stay, and bypass time (all p ≤ 0.03). Intervention patients had risk-adjusted reductions in MRSA colonization (odds ratio 0.53, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.37 to 0.76, p < 0.001), transmission (incidence rate ratio 0.29, 95% CI: 0.13 to 0.65, p = 0.002), and surgical site infections (odds ratio 0.58, 95% CI: 0.40 to 0.86, p = 0.007). Increased duration of preoperative decolonization therapy was associated with decreased postoperative MRSA colonization (odds ratio 0.73, 95% CI: 0.53 to 1.00, p = 0.05). Conclusions Preoperative S aureus screening with targeted decolonization was associated with reduced MRSA colonization, transmission, and surgical site infections. Duration of preoperative therapy correlated with decreased frequency of postoperative MRSA colonization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1349-1356
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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