Surgical site infections (SSIs) are common, costly, and associated with increased morbidity and potential mortality after lower limb revascularization surgery (ie, arterial bypass, endarterectomy, and patch angioplasty). Identifying evidence-informed risk factors for SSI in patients undergoing these surgeries is therefore important.
The aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of prognostic studies to identify, synthesize, and determine the certainty in the cumulative evidence associated with reported risk factors for early and delayed SSI after lower limb revascularization surgery in adults with peripheral artery disease.
We will search MEDLINE, Embase, the seven databases in Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews, review articles identified during the search, and included article bibliographies. We will include studies of adults (aged ≥18 years) with peripheral artery disease that report odds ratios, risk ratios, or hazard ratios adjusted for the presence of other risk factors or confounding variables and relating the potential risk factor of interest to the development of SSI after lower limb revascularization surgery. We will exclude studies that did not adjust for confounding, exclusively examined certain high-risk patient cohorts, or included >20% of patients who underwent surgery for indications other than peripheral artery disease. The primary outcomes will be early (in-hospital or ≤30 days) SSI and Szilagyi grade I (cellulitis involving the wound), grade II (infection involving subcutaneous tissue), and grade III (infection involving the vascular graft) SSI. Two investigators will independently extract data and evaluate the study risk of bias using the Quality in Prognosis Studies tool. Adjusted risk factor estimates with similar definitions will be pooled using DerSimonian and Laird random-effects models. Heterogeneity will be explored using stratified meta-analyses and meta-regression. Finally, we will use the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to determine certainty in the estimates of association between reported risk factors and the development of SSI.
The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews). We will execute the peer-reviewed search strategy on June 30, 2021, and then complete the review of titles and abstracts and full-text articles by July 30, 2021, and September 15, 2021, respectively. We will complete the full-text study data extraction and risk of bias assessment by November 15, 2021. We anticipate that we will be able to submit the manuscript for peer review by January 30, 2022.
This study will identify, synthesize, and determine the certainty in the cumulative evidence associated with risk factors for early and delayed SSI after lower limb revascularization surgery in patients with peripheral artery disease. The results will be used to inform practice, clinical practice statements and guidelines, and subsequent research.
PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews CRD42021242557; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=242557