The most important outcomes after repair of traumatic lacerations and surgical incisions are their long-term cosmetic appearance and development of infection. However, few studies have attempted to identify patient and wound characteristics associated with increased infection rates and suboptimal scar appearance. The authors determined patient and wound characteristics associated with wound infection or suboptimal appearance after laceration or incision repair. A secondary analysis of data collected from a multicenter randomized clinical trial comparing the outcome of lacerations and incisions closed with tissue adhesive or standard closure methods conducted at 10 clinical inpatient and outpatient sites was performed. The presence of infection and scar appearance were prospectively determined using validated outcomes. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify patient and wound characteristics associated with poor wound outcome (wound infection at 5 to 10 days or suboptimal appearance at 3 months). Eight hundred fourteen patients with 924 wounds (383 lacerations, 541 incisions) were enrolled. Mean age was 32 years and 47 percent were female. Characteristics associated with suboptimal cosmetic appearance on multivariate analysis were presence of associated tissue trauma [odds ratio (OR), 3.9; 95 percent confidence interval (CI), 1.4 to 10.7], use of electrocautery (OR, 3.4; 95 percent CI, 1.8 to 6.5), incomplete wound edge apposition (OR, 2.9; 95 percent CI, 1.7 to 5.0); extremity location (OR, 2.1; 95 percent CI, 1.2 to 3.7), and wound width (OR, 1.08; 95 percent CI, 1.01 to 1.14). Characteristics associated with wound infection on univariate analysis included associated tissue trauma (8.7 percent versus 1.2 percent, p = 0.04) and incomplete wound apposition (6.6 percent versus 0.5 percent). Suboptimal appearance was more common in infected wounds (relative risk, 3.2; 95 percent CI, 1.8 to 5.6). Suboptimal wound appearance is increased with extremity wounds, wide wounds, incompletely apposed wounds, associated tissue trauma, use of electrocautery, and infection. Type of closure device and use of deep sutures had no effect on infection rates or cosmetic appearance.
View details for Web of Science ID 000177043900008
View details for PubMedID 12142655