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Efficacy of Short-Term Antibiotic Therapy for Consecutive Patients with Mild Appendicitis

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Although antibiotic therapy seemed to be a safe treatment option for acute appendicitis, indications of this treatment have not been fully evaluated. We hypothesized that clinical and radiologic mild appendicitis may be a candidate for short-term antibiotic therapy. The purpose of present study was to examine the efficacy and the recurrence rate of short-term antibiotic therapy for consecutive patients with mild appendicitis. A prospective observational study was conducted over 3 years. The mild appendicitis was defined as the intermediate Alvarado score (4‐8) and dilated appendix from 6 mm to 10 mm in radiologic study. All patients received initial antibiotics administration with clinical observation during 48 hours. The failure to respond to therapy and the incidence of recurrence were assessed. There were 107 enrolled patients with the mean Alvarado score of 6 ± 1 and the mean appendiceal diameter of 7.4 ± 1 mm. Of these, 97 (91%) exhibited improved symptoms and were discharged. The remaining 10 patients underwent surgery because of clinical aggravation, and pathology revealed true appendicitis in six of them. Of the 97 patients in whom the initial treatment was successful, five patients (5%) exhibited recurrent symptoms during a median follow-up period of 18 months. Of these five patients, three were treated with surgery (all true appendicitis), and the remaining two were once again treated with antibiotics. Patients with suspected appendicitis, those in whom mild appendicitis was diagnosed after clinical and radiologic evaluations, were found to benefit from short-term antibiotic therapy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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