Long-Term Outcome Assessment between Antiseptic and Normal Saline for Negative Pressure Wound Therapy with Instillation

Dean H. Meshkin, Kenneth L. Fan, Karina Charipova, Christine Hill, Karen K. Evans, John S. Steinberg, Paul J. Kim, Christopher E. Attinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To analyze long-Term outcomes following inpatient treatment of infected wounds with antimicrobial or normal saline instillation during negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT). Approach: This was a single-center retrospective study analyzing the course of patients receiving 0.9% normal saline or 0.1% polyhexanide plus 0.1% betaine as instillation for wounds requiring surgery. Measured outcomes included rates of dehiscence, new wounds, re-operations, amputations, and mortality over 5 years. The article adheres to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement. Results: Forty-Two patients received normal saline instillation and 41 the antiseptic solution. Rates of dehiscence, wound recurrence, and re-operations in the saline and antiseptic cohorts were 6.3% and 5.6%, 9.4% and 5.6%, and 14.3% and 9.8%, respectively (p > 0.05). In patients requiring further surgery, time to wound closure averaged 104 and 130 days in the saline and antiseptic cohorts, respectively (p = 0.81). Five-year amputation and mortality rates were 14.3% and 22% (p = 0.36) and 24% and 17% (p = 0.45) in the saline and antiseptic cohorts, respectively. Innovation: To compare clinical outcomes associated with two fundamentally different instillation solutions over the full wound care episode and elucidate the potential impact of these results for future applications. Conclusion: This is the first evaluation of nonsurrogate outcomes of different instillations for NPWT in infected wounds. The results indicate that normal saline instillation outcomes are comparable to those of 0.1% polyhexanide plus 0.1% betaine. The clinical success, cost benefit, and accessibility of normal saline can expand the utilization of this therapeutic approach for larger patient populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-543
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Wound Care
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • complex wounds
  • negative pressure wound therapy
  • normal saline
  • wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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