Antibiotics safe for uncomplicated appendicitis: study

Patients who eventually had to have an appendectomy were not negatively affected by the delay

Antibiotic therapy is a safe alternative to surgery for patients with uncomplicated appendicitis, according to a new randomised controlled study.

Nearly two-thirds of patients with appendicitis are successfully treated with antibiotics alone, and those who do have a recurrence do not suffer any complications related to delaying appendectomy, shows Finnish research, which followed patients for five years.

The findings come from the APPAC trial, designed to test the non-inferiority of antibiotics relative to surgery between November 2009 and June 2012.

A total of 530 adults with CT-confirmed uncomplicated acute appendicitis were randomised to appendectomy (273 patients) or antibiotic therapy (257 patients), consisting of IV ertapenem for three days followed by seven days of oral levofloxacin and metronidazole.

The one-year results, reported in the Journal of the American Medical