Dual versus Triple Antibiotics Regimen in Children with Perforated Acute Appendicitis

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IntroductionAcute appendicitis is the most common emergency condition in pediatric surgery. Historically, a triple-antibiotic therapy consisted of ampicillin, gentamicin, and clindamycin has been used postoperatively for perforated appendicitis. According to recently published trials, dual therapy consists of ceftriaxone and metronidazole only, offers a more efficient and cost-effective antibiotic management compared with triple therapy. Based on these results, our department applied dual antibiotic therapy for children with perforated appendicitis that underwent appendectomy from 2009 and forth.AimThe aim of our study was to compare postoperative outcomes between patients treated with triple therapy (ampicillin, gentamicin, and metronidazole) (group A) versus dual therapy (ceftriaxone and metronidazole) (group B).MethodsClinical and laboratory data were retrospectively collected by review of the medical records for all children who underwent appendectomy for the perforated appendix at the Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, a tertiary pediatric care center between 2007 and 2011. Children with perforated appendicitis received antibiotic therapy in accordance with the hospital's guidelines that were valid at the time the surgery took place. In the first period (years 2007-2009) (group A) a triad of ampicillin, gentamicin, and metronidazole and the second period (2009-2011) (group B) dual therapy consists of ceftriaxone and metronidazole. The two groups were compared for outcome and complications, such as wound infections, changing of antibiotic therapy, and length of stay.ResultsDuring the study period 1,203 patients underwent an appendectomy. Of these, 175 patients were diagnosed with perforated appendix and were treated with postoperative antibiotic's regimen. Group A and group B consisted of 89 and 86 patients, respectively. The two groups were not different significantly in terms of demographic data, length of stay, or readmission rates. However, more rates of wound infection and changing of antibiotic therapy were seen in group B, although not statistically significant (p = 0.064).ConclusionDual antibiotic therapy for perforated appendicitis is a cost-effective and efficient mode of therapy compared with triple-antibiotic's regimen. However, prospective studies are required to determine whether this policy is associated with higher rates of wound infections and change in antibiotic therapy.

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