Polydioxanone sternal sutures for prevention of sternal dehiscence

Nicola Luciani, Amedeo Anselmi, Fabrizio Gandolfo, Mario Gaudino, Giuseppe Nasso, Mariantonietta Piscitelli, Gianfederico Possati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sternal dehiscence and wound instability are troublesome complications following median sternotomy. Classic sternal approximation with stainless steel wires may not be the ideal approach in patients predisposed to these complications. We tested the efficacy of polydioxanone (PDS) suture in sternal closure and in prevention of complications in comparison to steel wires in high-risk individuals. Methods: Three hundred sixty-six patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery with full median sternotomy and having body surface area (BSA) less than 1.5 m2 were randomly assigned to receive PDS (n = 181) or stainless steel (SS, n = 185) sternal approximation. The study was focused on aseptic sternal complications, namely bone dehiscence and superficial wound instability. Results: Both bone dehiscence and superficial wound instability were less frequent in the PDS Group (4 and 3 cases in the SS Group, respectively, vs. no cases in the PDS Group). Cox proportional hazards regression model in the whole study population identified female sex, chronic renal insufficiency, diabetes, advanced age, lower sternal thickness, osteoporosis, corticosteroid therapy, and prolonged CPB or ventilation times as predisposing factors to any of the two studied sternal complications. Discussion: Data suggest that PDS suture can protect against development of aseptic sternal complications following median sternotomy in high-risk patients with little body mass. The adoption of PDS in other subsets of patients, i.e., obese individuals, is to be questioned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-584
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Polydioxanone sternal sutures for prevention of sternal dehiscence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this