Center-level variation in infection rates after coronary artery bypass grafting

Terry Shih, Min Zhang, Mallika Kommareddi, Theodore J. Boeve, Steven D. Harrington, Robert J. Holmes, Gary Roth, Patricia F. Theurer, Richard L. Prager, Donald S. Likosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background-Health-care-acquired infections (HAIs) are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality after cardiac surgery. Prior work has identified several patient-related risk factors associated with HAIs. We hypothesized that rates of HAIs would differ across institutions, in part attributed to differences in case mix. Methods and Results-We analyzed 20 896 patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass grafting surgery at 33 medical centers in Michigan between January 1, 2009, and June 30, 2012. Overall HAIs included pneumonia, sepsis/ septicemia, and surgical site infections, including deep sternal wound, thoracotomy, and harvest/cannulation site infections. We excluded patients presenting with endocarditis. Predicted rates of HAIs were estimated using multivariable logistic regression. Overall rate of HAI was 5.1% (1071 of 20 896; isolated pneumonia, 3.1% [n=644]; isolated sepsis/ septicemia, 0.5% [n=99]; isolated deep sternal wound infection, 0.5% [n=96]; isolated harvest/cannulation site, 0.5% [n=97]; isolated thoracotomy, 0.02% [n=5]; multiple infections, 0.6% [n=130]). HAI subtypes differed across strata of center-level HAI rates. Although predicted risk of HAI differed in absolute terms by 2.8% across centers (3.9-6.7%; min:max), observed rates varied by 18.2% (0.9-19.1%). Conclusions-There was a 18.2% difference in observed HAI rates across medical centers among patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. This variability could not be explained by patient case mix. Future work should focus on the impact of other factors (eg, organizational and systems of clinical care) on risk of HAIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-573
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Infection
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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