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Can Antibiotics be an Effective Treatment for Uncomplicated Appendicitis in Children?

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Highlights:
  • Appendicitis is an inflammation or blockage in the appendix region of the large intestine.
  • Antibiotics are found to be effective for treating uncomplicated appendicitis in pediatric patients.
  • Appendectomy (Surgery) can be an effective treatment option for patients who have appendicolith.

Can Antibiotics be an Effective Treatment for Uncomplicated Appendicitis in Children?

Antibiotics are substances capable of fighting bacterial infections. A recent analysis of several studies which included 404 pediatric patients was found to show that antibiotic treatment was effective in treating uncomplicated appendicitis.

The failure of antibiotic treatment was only associated in patients who were at an increased risk of appendicolith (calcified deposit in the appendix).

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The research study was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Research Study
A research team along with Yuan Li, M.D., Ph.D., of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, was found to conduct a meta-analysis which compared the antibiotic treatment along with appendectomy to treat uncomplicated acute appendicitis in children.
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The study included pediatric patients between the age of 5 and 15 with uncomplicated appendicitis. Out of the 404 patients, 168 of them belonged to antibiotic treatment group, and the remaining 236 belonged to appendectomy group.

Study Findings
The research findings revealed that nonoperative treatment was successful in 152 out of the 168 patients. The report also found that of the 16 patients in the antibiotic group, 11 of them had appendectomy (surgical removal of appendix) in 48 hours and 5 of them had recurrence of appendicitis after a follow-up of one month.

To conclude, the study results from meta-analysis showed that antibiotics could be feasible and effective as an initial treatment for pediatric patients with uncomplicated appendicitis. The treatment can reduce the risk of complications.

The failure rate of antibiotics can be caused by the presence of only the appendicolith. The rate is also higher when compared to an appendectomy. Surgery can be an effective option for uncomplicated appendicitis with appendicolith.

Appendicitis
A small tube-like organ in the large intestine is called appendix. A blockage in the appendix may cause inflammation and result in Appendicitis.

Acute appendicitis is a common pediatric emergency. The safety and effectiveness of nonoperative treatment for acute appendicitis in adults may cause an intact appendix. However, in children the treatment may be difficult.

Interesting Facts on Appendicitis
  • Appendicitis is more common among people between the age of 10 and 30.
  • One out of every 13 people may get appendicitis.
  • Around 5% of the population may develop appendicitis at some point in their lifetime.
  • Appendicitis is a common cause of abdominal pain which requires surgery.
  • Complications of appendicitis include peritonitis (a condition which causes bursts or infections that spread in the abdomen), severe tenderness, nausea and vomiting.
References :
  1. Appendicitis - (https://medlineplus.gov/appendicitis.html)
  1. Definition & Facts for Appendicitis - ( https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/appendicitis/definition-facts)


Source: Medindia

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