Anti-fungal therapy in the treatment of perforated peptic ulcers: what’s the evidence?

Huston JM, et al. Role of Empiric Anti-Fungal Therapy in the Treatment of Perforated Peptic Ulcer Disease: Review of the Evidence and Future Directions. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2019 Dec;20(8):593-600.

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Results: There are no randomized clinical trials comparing outcomes specifically for patients with PPU treated with or without empiric anti-fungal therapy. We identified one randomized multi-center trial evaluating outcomes for patients with intra-abdominal perforations, including PPU, that were treated with or without empiric anti-fungal therapy. We identified one single-center prospective series and three additional retrospective studies comparing outcomes for patients with PPU treated with or without empiric anti-fungal therapy. 

Conclusion: The current evidence reviewed here does not demonstrate efficacy of anti-fungal agents in improving outcomes in patients with PPU. As such, we caution against the routine use of empiric anti-fungal agents in these patients. Further studies should help identify specific subpopulations of patients who might derive benefit from anti-fungal therapy and help define appropriate treatment regimens and durations that minimize the risk of resistance, adverse events, and cost.

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Article of interest: A randomized trial comparing antibiotics with appendectomy for appendicitis

CODA Collaborative, Flum DR, Davidson GH, et al. A Randomized Trial Comparing Antibiotics with Appendectomy for Appendicitis. N Engl J Med. 2020 Nov 12;383(20): 1907-1919.

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Figure 2. Cumulative Incidence of Appendectomy in the Antibiotics Group. Plus signs indicate censoring because the participant withdrew or was lost to follow-up.

Background: Antibiotic therapy has been proposed as an alternative to surgery for the treatment of appendicitis.

Methods: We conducted a pragmatic, nonblinded, noninferiority, randomized trial comparing antibiotic therapy (10-day course) with appendectomy in patients with appendicitis at 25 U.S. centers. The primary outcome was 30-day health status, as assessed with the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire (scores range from 0 to 1, with higher scores indicating better health status; noninferiority margin, 0.05 points). Secondary outcomes included appendectomy in the antibiotics group and complications through 90 days; analyses were prespecified in subgroups defined according to the presence or absence of an appendicolith.

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Article of interest: A randomized trial comparing antibiotics with appendectomy for appendicitis.

CODA Collaborative, Flum DR, et al. A randomized trial comparing antibiotics with appendectomy for appendicitis. N Engl J Med. 2020 Oct 5. [Epub ahead of print.]

Full-text for Emory users.

Results: In total, 1552 adults (414 with an appendicolith) underwent randomization; 776 were assigned to receive antibiotics (47% of whom were not hospitalized for the index treatment) and 776 to undergo appendectomy (96% of whom underwent a laparoscopic procedure). Antibiotics were noninferior to appendectomy on the basis of 30-day EQ-5D scores (mean difference, 0.01 points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.001 to 0.03). In the antibiotics group, 29% had undergone appendectomy by 90 days, including 41% of those with an appendicolith and 25% of those without an appendicolith. Complications were more common in the antibiotics group than in the appendectomy group (8.1 vs. 3.5 per 100 participants; rate ratio, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.30 to 3.98); the higher rate in the antibiotics group could be attributed to those with an appendicolith (20.2 vs. 3.6 per 100 participants; rate ratio, 5.69; 95% CI, 2.11 to 15.38) and not to those without an appendicolith (3.7 vs. 3.5 per 100 participants; rate ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.45 to 2.43). The rate of serious adverse events was 4.0 per 100 participants in the antibiotics group and 3.0 per 100 participants in the appendectomy group (rate ratio, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.67 to 2.50).

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Preoperative communication with older patients and their families about high-risk surgical outcomes

Berian JR, et al. Association of Loss of Independence With Readmission and Death After Discharge in Older Patients After Surgical Procedures. JAMA Surg. 2016 Sep 21;151(9): e161689.

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Results: Of the 5077 patients included in this study, 2736 (53.9%) were female and 3876 (76.3%) were white, with a mean (SD) age of 75 (7) years. For this cohort, LOI increased with age; LOI occurred in 1386 of 2780 patients (49.9%) aged 65 to 74 years, 1162 of 1726 (67.3%) aged 75 to 84 years, and 479 of 571 (83.9%) 85 years and older (P < .001). Readmission occurred in 517 patients (10.2%). In a risk-adjusted model, LOI was strongly associated with readmission (odds ratio, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.4-2.2) and postoperative complication (odds ratio, 6.7; 95% CI, 4.9-9.0). Death after discharge occurred in 69 patients (1.4%). After risk adjustment, LOI was the strongest factor associated with death after discharge (odds ratio, 6.7; 95% CI, 2.4-19.3). Postoperative complication was not significantly associated with death after discharge.

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AAA repair: retroperitoneal vs transperitoneal approach

One discussion this week included transperitoneal vs retroperitoneal  approach following AAA repair.


Reference: Buck DB, et al. Transperitoneal vs retroperitoneal approach for open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair in the targeted vascular NSQIP. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 2016 Sept;64(3):585-591. doi:10/1016/j.jvs.2016.01.055.

Summary: This study aims to identify the demographic and anatomical differences between patients currently selected for elective transperitoneal versus retroperitoneal AAA repair and to assess differences in intra-operative details, and perioperative mortality and complications.

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Open vs endovascular revascularization for acute limb ischemia: a review of major trials

One discussion this week involved open surgical versus endovascular revascularization for acute limb ischemia (ALI).


Reference: Wang JC, Kim AH, Kashyap VS. Open surgical or endovascular revascularization for acute limb ischemia. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 2016 Jan;63(1):270-278. doi:10/1016/j.jvs.2015.09.055.

Summary: Peripheral arterial disease affects approximately 10 million Americans. It can lead to lower extremity ischemic rest pain or tissue loss (Rutherford classification 4 to 6, or Fontaine classification III and IV). Acute limb ischemia (ALI) is defined as the presence of symptoms within 2 weeks of onset. ALI pathogenesis includes vascular stenoses with subsequent in situ thrombosis or thromboembolism from a cardiac or aortoiliac source. Stenotic lesions may indicate untreated comorbidities (eg, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, or tobacco use), whereas thromboembolisms implicate undiagnosed cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial infarction (MI), or mural thrombus. Limb loss risk due to ALI can be as high as 40% with an attendant mortality rate of 15% to 20% (p.270).

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