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Triclosan-Coated Sutures Reduce the Risk of Surgical Site Infections: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

  • Anucha Apisarnthanarak (a1), Nalini Singh (a2), Aila Nica Bandong (a3) and Gilbert Madriaga (a4)



To analyze available evidence on the effectiveness of triclosan-coated sutures (TCSs) in reducing the risk of surgical site infection (SSI).


Systematic review and meta-analysis.


A systematic search of both randomized (RCTs) and nonrandomized (non-RCT) studies was performed on PubMed Medline, OVID, EMBASE, and SCOPUS, without restrictions in language and publication type. Random-effects models were utilized and pooled estimates were reported as the relative risk (RR) ratio with 95% confidence interval (CI). Tests for heterogeneity as well as meta-regression, subgroup, and sensitivity analyses were performed.


A total of 29 studies (22 RCTs, 7 non-RCTs) were included in the meta-analysis. The overall RR of acquiring an SSI was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.55–0.77; I2=42.4%, P=.01) in favor of TCS use. The pooled RR was particularly lower for the abdominal surgery group (RR: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.41–0.77) and was robust to sensitivity analysis. Meta-regression analysis revealed that study design, in part, may explain heterogeneity (P=.03). The pooled RR subgroup meta-analyses for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs were 0.74 (95% CI: 0.61–0.89) and 0.53 (95% CI: 0.42–0.66), respectively, both of which favored the use of TCSs.


The random-effects meta-analysis based on RCTs suggests that TCSs reduced the risk of SSI by 26% among patients undergoing surgery. This effect was particularly evident among those who underwent abdominal surgery.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2015;36(2): 1–11


Corresponding author

Address correspondence to Anucha Apisarnthanarak, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, Thammasat University Hospital, Pratumthani, Thailand 12120 (


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