Treatment of complicated skin and soft tissue infections

Addison K. May, Renae E. Stafford, Eileen M. Bulger, Daithi Heffernan, Oscar Guillamondegui, Grant Bochicchio, Soumitra R. Eachempati

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Background: Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) may produce substantial morbidity and mortality rates, particularly those classified as complicated or necrotizing. Objective: To weigh the strength of recommendations using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology and to provide evidence-based recommendations for diagnosis and management for SSTIs. Data Sources: Computerized identification of published research and review of relevant articles. Study Selection: All published reports on the management of complicated and necrotizing SSTIs were evaluated by an expert panel of members of the Surgical Infection Society according to published guidelines for evidence-based medicine. The quality of the evidence was judged by the GRADE methodology and criteria. Practice surveys, pharmacokinetic studies, and reviews or duplicative publications presenting primary data already considered were excluded from analysis. Data Extraction: Information on demographics, study dates, microbiology findings, antibiotic type, surgical interventions, infection-related outcomes, and the methodologic quality of the studies was extracted. Results were submitted to the Therapeutic Agents Committee of the Surgical Infection Society for review prior to creation of the final consensus document. Data Synthesis: Current surgical and antibiotic management of complicated SSTIs is based on a small number of studies that often have insufficient power to draw well-supported conclusions, with the exception of antimicrobial therapy for non-necrotizing soft tissue infections, for which ample data are available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-499
Number of pages33
JournalSurgical infections
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


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