Association between HbA1c and deep sternal wound infection after coronary artery bypass: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Wenyu Zhao, Jingui Xie, Zhichao Zheng, Han Zhou, Oon Cheong Ooi, Haidong Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Deep sternal wound infection (DSWI) constitutes a serious complication after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. The aim of this study is to evaluate the dose-response relationship between glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level and the risk of DSWI after CABG. Methods: PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases were searched to identify potentially relevant articles. According to rigorous inclusion and exclusion criteria, fourteen studies including 15,570 patients were enrolled in our meta-analysis. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was used as the summary statistic. The robust-error meta-regression model was used to synthesize the dose-response relationship. Results: Our meta-analysis shows that among patients undergoing CABG, preoperative elevated HbA1c was associated with the risk of developing DSWI (OR = 2.67, 95% CI 2.00–3.58) but with low prognostic accuracy (diagnostic OR = 2.70, 95% CI 1.96–3.73; area under the curve = 0.66, 95% CI 0.62–0.70) for predicting postoperative DSWI. Subgroup analyses showed the relationship became nonsignificant in patients without diabetes and studies adopting lower HbA1c thresholds. Dose-response analysis showed a significant nonlinear (p = 0.03) relationship between HbA1c and DSWI, with a significantly increased risk of DSWI when HbA1c was > 5.7%. Conclusions: An elevated HbA1c level of > 5.7% was related to a higher risk of developing DSWI after CABG, and the risk increased as the HbA1c level grew. The association between HbA1c and DSWI was nonsignificant among nondiabetic patients while significant among diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024


  • CABG
  • DSWI
  • Deep sternal wound infection
  • Dose-response
  • HbA1c
  • Meta-analysis


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