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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nonperforative appendicitis: a continuing surgical dilemma.

Acute appendicitis continues as a medical challenge with newer approaches failing to improve diagnostic accuracy. The role of antibiotics in acute nonperforative appendicitis (NPA) remains unclear. In 175 patients studied at two hospitals, preoperative guidelines were used to exclude perforative appendicitis. Nevertheless, 14% of patients were found to have this condition. Surgeon's reports significantly underestimated the diagnosis when compared with the pathologists' reports. Antibiotic prophylaxis in 122 patients with NPA was studied prospectively comparing ceftizoxime (CTZ), cefamandole (CFM), and placebo (PLA). Ceftizoxime decreased the infection rate compared with PLA (0 vs. 8; P less than .01). Use of antibiotics (CTZ or CFM) resulted in decreased infections when compared with PLA (3 vs. 8; P less than .01) and fewer days of hospitalization (3.8 vs. 5.4 d, P less than .005). Analysis of infection risk factors showed no correlations except for failure to administer antibiotics and the finding of a gangrenous appendix. Operative culture results had no predictive value for either infection or pathogen identification. It is recommended that all patients undergoing surgery for NPA be given 1 d of antibiotic prophylaxis.[1]


  1. Nonperforative appendicitis: a continuing surgical dilemma. Browder, W., Smith, J.W., Vivoda, L.M., Nichols, R.L. J. Infect. Dis. (1989) [Pubmed]
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