Cengiz Ovalı1, Alper Selim Kocaoğlu2, Merve Nur Güçlüer Kocaoğlu3, Atacan Emre Koçman4

1Department of Cardiac Surgery, Eskişehir Osmangazi University Faculty of Medicine, Eskişehir, Türkiye
2Clinic of Cardiac Surgery, Eskişehir City Hospital, Eskişehir, Türkiye
3Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Eskişehir Osmangazi University Faculty of Medicine, Eskişehir, Türkiye
4Clinic of Aesthetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Private Clinic, İstanbul, Türkiye

Keywords: Mediastinitis; debridement; pectoralis flap


Introduction: Mediastinitis is a rare occurrence following cardiac surgeries; however, it is a significant cause of both mortality and morbidity. Given the significance of mediastinal infections, early diagnosis, and treatment become of paramount importance. The management of this condition necessitates a multidisciplinary approach, involving collaboration and coordination among various medical specialties.

Patients and Methods: 21 patients with a diagnosis of deep mediastinal infection who were treated at Eskişehir Osmangazi University Medical Faculty Hospital between January 2015 and May 2021 were included in the study. Broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, serial debridement, and vacuum-assisted closure were applied to all patients. Among the patients who exhibited negative blood cultures and developed granulation tissue, those with tissue losses that did not extend to the sternum incision sites were assessed for potential flap procedures in conjunction with plastic and reconstructive surgery. In such cases, closure of the wound was achieved using a pectoral muscle flap. All patients were followed for one year.

Results: Among the patients, 14 (66.6%) were female and seven (33.3%) were male, with a mean age of 62.7 ± 6.5 (range: 41-76 years). Three of the 21 patients included in the study had type I, two had type II, and 16 had type IIIA mediastinitis. Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) was the most commonly isolated microorganism with 11 patients (52.3%). The right pectoralis major muscle was used in four patients (19%), the left pectoralis major muscle in four patients (19%), and the bilateral pectoralis major muscle in 13 patients (62%). There was no need for re-intervention in the follow-up of the patients. No mortality because of infection, surgical muscle flap closure, and/or cardiac causes was observed in any of the patients who were treated.

Conclusion: Mediastinitis is a costly treatment, requiring prolonged hospitalization and carrying the risk of mortality. The main objective is to prevent the occurrence of mediastinitis. We believe that this objective should be pursued through a multidisciplinary approach involving cardiovascular surgery, infectious diseases, and plastic and reconstructive surgery units.

Cite this article as: Ovalı C, Kocaoğlu AS, Güçlüer Kocaoğlu MN, Koçman AE. Treatment of deep mediastinal infections following cardiac surgery with pectoral muscle flap. Koşuyolu Heart J 2023;26(2):88-95.

Ethics Committee Approval

The study was approved by Eskişehir Osmangazi University Non-invasive Clinical Research Ethics Committee (Decision no: 18, Date: 26.07.2022).

Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept/Design - All of authors; Analysis/Interpretation - CO, ASK; Data Collection - CO, ASK, AEK; Writing - All of authors; Critical Revision - All of authors; Final Approval - All of authors; Statistical Analysis -CO, ASK; Overall Responsibility - CO.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declare that this study has received no financial support.