A Randomized Trial Comparing Skin Antiseptic Agents at Cesarean Delivery

Methodius G Tuuli, Jingxia Liu, Molly J Stout, Shannon Martin, Alison G Cahill, Anthony O Odibo, Graham A Colditz, George A Macones
New England Journal of Medicine 2016 February 18, 374 (7): 647-55

BACKGROUND: Preoperative skin antisepsis has the potential to decrease the risk of surgical-site infection. However, evidence is limited to guide the choice of antiseptic agent at cesarean delivery, which is the most common major surgical procedure among women in the United States.

METHODS: In this single-center, randomized, controlled trial, we evaluated whether the use of chlorhexidine-alcohol for preoperative skin antisepsis was superior to the use of iodine-alcohol for the prevention of surgical-site infection after cesarean delivery. We randomly assigned patients undergoing cesarean delivery to skin preparation with either chlorhexidine-alcohol or iodine-alcohol. The primary outcome was superficial or deep surgical-site infection within 30 days after cesarean delivery, on the basis of definitions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

RESULTS: From September 2011 through June 2015, a total of 1147 patients were enrolled; 572 patients were assigned to chlorhexidine-alcohol and 575 to iodine-alcohol. In an intention-to-treat analysis, surgical-site infection was diagnosed in 23 patients (4.0%) in the chlorhexidine-alcohol group and in 42 (7.3%) in the iodine-alcohol group (relative risk, 0.55; 95% confidence interval, 0.34 to 0.90; P=0.02). The rate of superficial surgical-site infection was 3.0% in the chlorhexidine-alcohol group and 4.9% in the iodine-alcohol group (P=0.10); the rate of deep infection was 1.0% and 2.4%, respectively (P=0.07). The frequency of adverse skin reactions was similar in the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of chlorhexidine-alcohol for preoperative skin antisepsis resulted in a significantly lower risk of surgical-site infection after cesarean delivery than did the use of iodine-alcohol. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; number, NCT01472549.).

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"