OBJECTIVES: To determine whether using topical vancomycin powder in fracture surgery may result in low levels of vancomycin in the serum and not result in nephrotoxicity. DESIGN: Prospective observational at a single site as a substudy of the VANCO trial. SETTING: Single, large urban level I trauma center. PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-eight patients with tibial plateau and pilon fractures randomized to the treatment arm at the principal investigator's site. INTERVENTION: Topical vancomycin powder (1000 mg) applied directly in the wound over all metal implants at the time of wound closure. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Serum vancomycin levels at 1 hour and 6-8 hours after surgery. Secondary outcomes included serum creatinine before surgery, a day after surgery, and at 2 weeks postoperatively and complete blood count at 2 weeks postoperatively. RESULTS: Except in 2 patients who also received intravenous vancomycin, none of the study patients had detectable (>5 µg/mL) serum vancomycin levels at 1 hour and 6-8 hours after surgery. One patient with a history of elevation of serum creatinine had a minor increase of serum creatinine but had undetectable vancomycin levels. None of the other patients had a clinically significant increase in creatinine levels. CONCLUSIONS: Despite its relatively widespread usage, little data exist regarding the systemic levels and nephrotoxicity associated with the topical use of vancomycin powder in orthopaedic fracture surgery. These prospective data indicate that there seems to be little clinical concern regarding toxicity associated with systemic absorption of vancomycin powder in this specific clinical application. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level IV. See instructions for authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine