Optimal stump management in laparoscopic appendectomy: A network meta-analysis by the Minimally Invasive Surgery Synthesis of Interventions and Outcomes Network

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Laparoscopic appendectomy is the predominant method of treatment of acute appendicitis. There is insufficient evidence on the most effective management of the appendix stump. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative effectiveness and provide a treatment ranking of different options for securing the appendix stump.


Electronic databases were searched to identify randomized controlled trials comparing ligation methods of the appendix. The primary outcomes were organ/space infection and superficial operative site infection. We performed a network meta-analysis and estimated the pairwise relative treatment effects of the competing interventions using the odds ratio and its 95% confidence interval. We obtained a hierarchy of the competing interventions using rankograms and the surface under the cumulative ranking curve.


Forty-three randomized controlled trials were eligible and provided data for >5,000 patients. Suture ligation seemed to be the most effective treatment strategy, in terms of both organ/space infection and superficial operative site infection. Statistical significance was reached for the comparisons of clip versus endoloop (odds ratio 0.56, 95% confidence interval, 0.32–0.96) for organ/space infection; and suture versus clip (odds ratio 0.20, 95% confidence interval 0.08–0.55) and clip versus endoloop (odds ratio 2.22, 95% confidence interval 1.56–3.13) for superficial operative site infection. The network was informed primarily by indirect treatment comparisons.


The use of suture ligation of the appendix in laparoscopic appendectomy seems to be superior to other methods for the composite parameters of organ/space and superficial operative site infection.

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