Antibiotics may be a safe alternative to surgery in children with appendicitis, a meta-analysis of available data has concluded.
The researchers, from the University of Southampton, found antibiotics was effective in 97% children treated with for acute non-complicated appendicitis and they did not face any adverse effects or specific adverse events, compared with those who received surgical treatment.
But they did find that the rate of recurrent appendicitis in children receiving non-surgical treatment was 14%.
The authors concluded in the journal Pediatrics: ‘Longer-term clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of nonoperative treatment compared with appendicectomy require further evaluation, preferably in large randomized trials, to reliably inform decision-making.’
The study assessed existing studies published over the last 10 years, reporting on 413 children who received non-operative treatment rather than an appendectomy.