Prophylaxis for transrectal prostatic biopsies: a randomized controlled study of intravenous co-amoxiclav given as a single dose compared with an intravenous dose followed by oral co-amoxiclav for 24 h

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To compare in a randomized prospective study the infective complication rates of a single intravenous dose of co-amoxiclav given alone before transrectal prostatic biopsy with an intravenous dose followed by oral co-amoxiclav for 24 h.

Patients and methods

Eighty-three patients undergoing prostatic biopsy were randomized to receive 1.2 g co-amoxiclav intravenously and then either three further doses of oral co-amoxiclav (Group 1) or no further antibiotics (Group 2). The evaluation included analysis of a mid-stream urine (MSU) sample before and 72 h after biopsy, and the recording of oral temperatures and symptoms in the first 44 patients. Patients with symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTIs), prostatitis, indwelling catheters, diabetes and those receiving steroid therapy were excluded.


Eight patients, four from each treatment arm, were found to have asymptomatic UTIs from their MSU before biopsy. Excluding these patients, four patients (11%) from Group 1 and six from Group 2 (16%) had positive MSUs at 72 h; two patients from Group 2 and one from Group 1 required admission to hospital. Of the patients returning symptom and temperature charts, a further six (14%; three from each group) reported signs and symptoms suggestive of infection despite negative urine cultures.


There was no statistically significant difference in the rate of positive MSUs between the groups. The incidence of infections was considerably higher than in previously published series where other antibiotics were used, suggesting that co-amoxiclav is not the drug of choice for transrectal prostatic biopsy.

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