Study of the effect of intranasal antibiotic ointments on sternum wound infections after heart surgery


  • Muntajab Saleh Tishreen University


Background: Patients with nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus have an increased risk of surgical site infections caused by that organism. Treatment with mupirocin ointment can reduce the rate of nasal carriage and may prevent postoperative S. aureus infections.

Aim:This study was designed to determine whether decreasing nasal bacterial colonization by applying mupirocin intra nasally decreases sternal wound infections after open-heart surgery.

Materials and Methods:This was a randomized trial included 79 patients who underwent open heart surgery at Tishreen University Hospital, Lattakia , Syria during the period between January 2020 and May 2021.Patients were divided in two groups: Group I (n = 42) receiving mupirocin in the anterior nares 2 times daily for 24 hours before surgery and 5 days after surgery, Group II (n =37) was the control group. Patients were followed for a month after surgery. Sternal wound infection was documented and treated with appropriate antibiotics.

Results:The two groups had the same demographic characteristics and risk factors.There was a significant difference in the rate of overall sternal wound infections between the untreated (group II) and the treated group (group I): 18.9% versus 4.7% (p < 0.05). There was a statistically significant reduction in the sternal wound infection length of stay cases from 18.7 days to 9.1 days (p<0.05) in the untreated versus treated group.

Conclusion:The usage of mupirocin for nasal decontamination before open-heart surgery reduces the incidence of the sternal wound infections.

Author Biography

Muntajab Saleh , Tishreen University

Associate Professor – Faculty of Medicine



How to Cite

Saleh M. Study of the effect of intranasal antibiotic ointments on sternum wound infections after heart surgery. Tuj-hlth [Internet]. 2022Mar.29 [cited 2022Jul.1];44(1):33-48. Available from: