Suprafascial Vancomycin Powder for Prevention of Surgical Site Infections After Instrumented Posterior Spinal Fusion (VANCO)

  • End date
    Mar 31, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University Hospital Inselspital, Berne
Updated on 4 October 2022
vancomycin powder


Surgical site infections (SSI) after spine surgery may occur in up to 12% of cases and can lead to increased morbidity, and healthcare costs In this randomized controlled trial the investigators aim to prospectively investigate the efficacy and safety of suprafascial intrawound vancomycin powder in reducing the rate of SSIs after instrumented spinal fusion surgery. Secondary aims of the study are the incidence of vancomycin-related complications, vancomycin-resistant bacterial infections in the treatment arm as well as the rate of revision surgeries due to SSIs.



Surgical site infections (SSI) after spine surgery may occur in up to 12% of cases and can lead to increased morbidity, and healthcare costs. Numerous retrospective studies suggest the use of intrawound (subfascial) vancomycin powder in spine surgery to be protective against SSIs. Adverse events, such as seroma formation or neurotoxicity may be associated with the subfascial use of vancomycin powder in high doses in direct proximity to exposed neural structures. Only one retrospective study investigated the use of suprafascial vancomycin powder. The use of intrawound vancomycin powder is controversial and there is a paucity of well-designed prospective trials evaluating its efficacy and safety in spine surgery.


The main objective of this Trial is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of suprafascially applied vancomycin powder in open instrumented spine surgery to prevent surgical site infections and inform a future phase-III trial.


In addition to standard preoperative systemic antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP), patients in the treatment arm will receive 1-2 g of vancomycin powder (VP) applied above the closed muscle fascia (suprafascial) into the wound at conclusion of the surgery. Patients in the control arm will not receive additional intrawound vancomycin powder. All other intra- and perioperative procedures will be conducted according to standard of practice (SOP) at the respective Trial site. All patient follow-ups and assessment of the surgical site will be observational in nature and adhere to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Trial site. All patients will be followed up clinically with conventional radiographs after 6 weeks and 3 months after surgery. At each follow-up, clinical assessment and inspection of the surgical site (the wound) will be performed by a blinded assessor (who was not present at index surgery). In cases of evident or suspected SSI standard blood samples and - if required to rule out or confirm a deep SSI - a MRI will be ordered.

Condition Surgical Site Infection
Treatment Vancomycin
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04017468
SponsorUniversity Hospital Inselspital, Berne
Last Modified on4 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patients ≥ 18 years of age requiring open instrumented dorsal spinal fusion of at least 1 level (involving two adjacent vertebras and one intervertebral disc)
Signed informed consent

Exclusion Criteria

Preoperative ongoing infectious disease present as judged by primary surgeon (based on lab results and clinical assessment)
Previous spine surgery at index level within last 90 days
Known allergy to vancomycin
Percutaneous or transmuscular instrumentation (minimally-invasive surgery) only without lumbar interbody fusion
Postoperative radiotherapy of surgical site required (e.g. for tumor)
Preexisting cochlea damage OR known history of hearing loss
Renal insufficiency with stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 15-30 ml/min or worse
Pregnancy or breastfeeding women
Participation in other ongoing clinical trials
Patients lacking capacity to consent
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