3 years ago

Randomized clinical trial of antibiotic therapy for uncomplicated appendicitis

B. H. Lee, M. J. Kim, H. C. Park
Background Uncomplicated appendicitis may resolve spontaneously or require treatment with antibiotics or appendicectomy. The aim of this randomized trial was to compare the outcome of a non-antibiotic management strategy with that of antibiotic therapy in uncomplicated appendicitis. Methods Patients presenting to a university teaching hospital with CT-verified uncomplicated simple appendicitis (appendiceal diameter no larger than 11 mm and without any signs of perforation) were randomized to management with a no-antibiotic regimen with supportive care (intravenous fluids, analgesia and antipyretics as necessary) or a 4-day course of antibiotics with supportive care. The primary endpoint was rate of total treatment failure, defined as initial treatment failure within 1 month and recurrence of appendicitis during the follow-up period. Results Some 245 patients were randomized within the trial, and followed up for a median of 19 months. The duration of hospital stay was shorter (mean 3·1 versus 3·7 days; P < 0·001) and the medical costs lower (€1181 versus 1348; P < 0·001) among those randomized to therapy without antibiotics. There was no difference in total treatment failure rate between the groups: 29 of 124 (23·4 per cent) in the no-antibiotic group and 25 of 121 (20·7 per cent) in the antibiotic group (P = 0·609). Eighteen patients (9 in each group) had initial treatment failure, 15 of whom underwent appendicectomy and three received additional antibiotics. Thirty-six patients (20 in the no-antibiotic group, 16 in the antibiotic group) experienced recurrence, of whom 30 underwent appendicectomy and six received further antibiotics. Conclusion Treatment failure rates in patients presenting with CT-confirmed uncomplicated appendicitis appeared similar among those receiving supportive care with either a no-antibiotic regimen or a 4-day course of antibiotics. Registration number: KCT0000124 ( http://cris.nih.go.kr).

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/bjs.10660

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