Mathematics Faculty Articles

Title

Comparing Outcomes of Appendectomy Versus Non-operative Antibiotic Therapy for Acute Appendicitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-12-2022

Publication Title

The American Surgeon

Keywords

acute appendicitis, antibiotic treatment, appendectomy, surgical outcomes, meta-analysis

ISSN

0003-1348

Abstract

Background

Acute appendicitis is one of the most common etiologies of an acute abdomen in the emergency department and first-line standard surgical care for the condition has recently been reconsidered. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness and outcomes of surgical intervention versus non-operative antibiotic therapy in the treatment of acute appendicitis in adult and pediatric patients.

Methods

A literature search was conducted using PubMed, Google Scholar, and EMBASE. The search included all studies until January 15th, 2022. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines were followed for abstracting data and assessing data quality and validity. Data were independently extracted by the authors of the study. Meta-analysis was performed and Cohen’s Q test for heterogeneous effects was performed to determine if fixed or random-effects models were appropriate for use.

Results

Twelve randomized controlled trials investigating a total of 3703 acute appendicitis patients met inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. In the systematic review, eleven RCTs demonstrated that appendectomy had improved effectiveness compared to non-operative antibiotic management. The meta-analysis demonstrated that patients undergoing appendectomy had significantly higher treatment effectiveness compared with antibiotics-only treatment (98.4% vs. 73.3%, P < .0001). The meta-analysis did demonstrate a significant .54-day reduction in hospital length of stay for the appendectomy group compared to the non-operative antibiotic therapy group.

Conclusions

Surgical intervention is associated with increased effectiveness of treatment and reduced in-hospital length of stay among patients with acute appendicitis. Guidelines established by institutions and surgical organizations should indicate appendectomy as the standard and superior treatment option for patients presenting with acute appendicitis.

Comments

Review Article

ORCID ID

0000-0002-8194-5502

DOI

10.1177/00031348221114045

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Peer Reviewed

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