Hernia : the journal of hernias and abdominal wall surgery

Gentamicin for prevention of intraoperative mesh contamination: demonstration of high bactericide effect (in vitro) and low systemic bioavailability (in vivo).

PMID 25112382


Mesh infection is a severe complication after incisional hernia repair and occurs in 1-3 % of all open mesh implantations. For this reason, topical antimicrobial agent applied directly to the mesh is often used procedure. So far, however, this procedure lacks a scientific basis. Two different meshes (Parietex™, Covidien; Ultrapro™, Ethicon Johnson & Johnson) were incubated with increasing amounts of three different Staphylococcus aureus strains (ATCC 25923; Mu50; ST239) with or without gentamicin and growth ability were determined in vitro. To further address the question of the systemic impact of topic gentamicin, serum levels were analyzed 6 and 24 h after implantation of gentamicin-impregnated multifilament meshes in 19 patients. None of the gentamicin-impregnated meshes showed any bacterial growth in vitro. This effect was independent of the mesh type for all the tested S. aureus strains. In the clinical setting, serum gentamicin levels 6 h after implantation of the gentamicin-impregnated meshes were below the through-level (range 0.4-2.9 mg/l, mean 1.2 ± 0.7 mg/l). After 24 h the gentamicin serum levels in all patients had declined 90-65 % of the 6 h values. Local application of gentamicin to meshes can completely prevent the growth of even gentamicin-resistant S. aureus strains in vitro. The systemic relevance of gentamicin in the clinical controls showed to be very low, without reaching therapeutic concentrations.