Extended-versus narrower-spectrum antibiotics for appendicitis

Matthew P. Kronman, Assaf P. Oron, Rachael K. Ross, Adam L. Hersh, Jason G. Newland, Adam Goldin, Shawn J. Rangel, Scott J. Weissman, Danielle M. Zerr, Jeffrey S. Gerber

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40 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Appendicitis guidelines recommend either narrower- or extended- spectrum antibiotics for treatment of complicated appendicitis. The goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of extended-spectrum versus narrower-spectrum antibiotics for children with appendicitis. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of children aged 3 to 18 years discharged between 2011 and 2013 from 23 freestanding children's hospitals with an appendicitis diagnosis and appendectomy performed. Subjects were classified as having complicated appendicitis if they had a postoperative length of stay ≥3 days, a central venous catheter placed, major or severe illness classification, or ICU admission. The exposure of interest was receipt of systemic extended-spectrum antibiotics (piperacillin ± tazobactam, ticarcillin ± clavulanate, ceftazidime, cefepime, or a carbapenem) on the day of appendectomy or the day after. The primary outcome was 30-day readmission for wound infection or repeat abdominal surgery. Multivariable logistic regression, propensity score weighting, and subgroup analyses were used to control for confounding by indication. RESULTS: Of 24 984 patients, 17 654 (70.7%) had uncomplicated appendicitis and 7330 (29.3%) had complicated appendicitis. Overall, 664 (2.7%) patients experienced the primary outcome, 1.1% among uncomplicated cases and 6.4% among complicated cases (P < .001). Extended-spectrum antibiotic exposure was significantly associated with the primary outcome in complicated (adjusted odds ratio, 1.43 [95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.93]), but not uncomplicated, (adjusted odds ratio, 1.32 [95% confidence interval, 0.88 to 1.98]) appendicitis. These odds ratios remained consistent across additional analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Extended-spectrum antibiotics seem to offer no advantage over narrower-spectrum agents for children with surgically managed acute uncomplicated or complicated appendicitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20154547
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2016


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