Extended antibiotic therapy versus placebo after laparoscopic cholecystectomy for mild and moderate acute calculous cholecystitis: A randomized double-blind clinical trial

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Abstract

Background:

Acute calculous cholecystitis (ACC) is the most common complication of cholelithiasis. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the gold standard treatment in mild and moderate forms. Currently there is consensus for the use of antibiotics in the preoperative phase of ACC. However, the need for antibiotic therapy after surgery remains undefined with a low level of scientific evidence.

Methods:

The CHART (Cholecystectomy Antibiotic Randomised Trial) study is a single-center, prospective, double blind, and randomized trial. Patients with mild to moderate ACC operated by LC were randomly assigned to receive antibiotic (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid) or placebo treatment for 5 consecutive days. The primary endpoint was postoperative infectious complications. Secondary endpoints were as follows: (1) duration of hospital stay, (2) readmissions, (3) reintervention, and (4) overall mortality.

Results:

In the per-protocol analysis, 6 of 104 patients (5.8%) in the placebo arm and 6 of 91 patients (6.6%) in the antibiotic arm developed postoperative infectious complications (absolute difference 0.82 (95% confidence interval, −5.96 to 7.61, P = .81). The median hospital stay was 3 days. There was no mortality. There were no differences regarding readmissions and reoperations between the 2 groups.

Conclusion:

Although this trial failed to show noninferiority of postoperative placebo compared to antibiotic treatment after LC for mild and moderate ACC within a noninferiority margin of 5%, the use of antibiotics in the postoperative period does not seem justified, because it was not associated with a decrease in the incidence of infectious and other types of morbidity in the present study.

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