Selective gut decontamination in intensive care and surgical practice: where are we?

G. Ramsay*, R.H.K.F. Saene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


Department of Surgery, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD) has been widely studied in the intensive care setting. Despite the publication of more than 50 controlled trials, it remains a controversial subject, with widely disparate views on the role of SDD. This article reviews the use of SDD primarily by examining the areas of controversy. The published data seem to show clear evidence that SDD can reduce acquired infection during intensive care. Most individual studies have shown no effect on mortality, but meta-analyses suggest a 10% overall reduction in mortality. Despite the large number of publications to date, there remain several aspects worthy of further study.

Publication Types:
Review, Tutorial
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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