Infection following treatment of mandibular fractures in human immunodeficiency virus seropositive patients

Brian Schmidt, Gerard Kearns, David Perrott, Leonard B. Kaban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: There are little data available on the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease and its relationship to postoperative infection in patients presenting with mandibular fractures. This retrospective study assesses these parameters. Patients: The study population consisted of 251 patients treated for mandibular fractures at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) between January 1990 and December 1993. Group 1 (n = 20) was composed of patients with documented HIV infection and group 2 (n = 231) served as controls. The groups were comparable with regard to age, sex, etiology, and number and types of fractures. Results: HIV prevalence for this population was 7.9%, and was consistent with previously documented prevalence studies in SFGH surgical patients. In the HIV-positive group, 6 of 20 patients (30%) developed postoperative infection: 2 soft tissue (10%) and 4 bone-related (20%). In the control group, 22 of 231 patients (9.5%) developed postoperative infections: 16 soft tissue (6.9%) and 6 bone-related (2.6%). Statistical analysis showed a significant difference between the two groups with regard to overall (P = .016) and to bone-related (P = .001) infection rates. There was no statistically significant difference in soft tissue infections between the two groups (P = .953). The rate of postoperative infection was significantly higher in those patients (both HIV-positive and controls) who had open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF; 25 155; 16%) versus those who had closed reduction and maxillomandibular fixation ( 3 96; 3.1 %; P = .003). The post-operative infection rate after ORIF was significantly higher in the HIV-positive ( 5 11; 45%) compared with the control group ( 20 144; 13.9%; P = .02). Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the overall rate of postoperative infection after treatment of mandibular fractures is significantly higher in HIV-positive than in HIV-negative patients. Specifically, the use of ORIF in HIV-positive patients represents a significant risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1134-1139
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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