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12.09.2019 | Original Article

Feasibility, acceptance, safety, and effectiveness of antibiotic therapy as alternative treatment approach to appendectomy in uncomplicated acute appendicitis

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Colorectal Disease
Autoren:
Daniela Prechal, Stefan Post, Ioanna Pechlivanidou, Ulrich Ronellenfitsch
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Purpose

Based on results from randomized controlled trials, there is an increasing discussion if antibiotic treatment is an equivalent therapeutic approach to appendectomy in uncomplicated acute appendicitis. This observational prospective study evaluates its feasibility, safety, and effectiveness in clinical practice.

Methods

The study included all consecutive adults treated for acute appendicitis over an 18-month period in one hospital. Patients receiving antibiotics were compared to those treated surgically. Follow-up comprised 1 year. The primary endpoint was treatment success, defined as no secondary appendectomy during follow-up (antibiotic group) or successful appendectomy (primary surgical group). Secondary endpoints were complications, duration of hospital stay, pain intensity, and length of absence from work.

Results

54/124 (43.6%) patients were primarily treated with antibiotics and 70/124 (56.4%) surgically. Treatment success at 1 year was 77.1% (95%-CI 62.8–88%) for antibiotic and 100% for surgical treatment. Complications were non-significantly less frequent both among all patients treated with antibiotics and among patients undergoing secondary appendectomy compared to patients undergoing primary appendectomy (20.8% vs. 27.1% and 9.1% vs. 27.1%). The initial hospital stay was significantly shorter in the antibiotic group (mean 3.6 vs. 4.8 days, median 3 days, p = 0.03). After 1 year, the cumulative hospital stay was not different between groups.

Conclusions

Appendectomy remains the most effective treatment for the definitive cure of acute appendicitis. However, antibiotic therapy can be a safe alternative approach for selected patients with uncomplicated acute appendicitis.

Trial registration

DRKS00010401

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