Minimum postoperative antibiotic duration in advanced appendicitis in children: a review

Pediatr Surg Int. 2004 Dec;20(11-12):838-45. doi: 10.1007/s00383-004-1280-x. Epub 2004 Oct 6.


The suitable duration of antibiotic use following appendectomy for advanced appendicitis in children is still debated. A systematic review was performed, including published experimental and observational data of antibiotic use in children who had undergone appendectomy for advanced appendicitis. Data were extracted and analyzed according to predefined criteria. Twenty-eight studies were selected that included 2,284 patients. There was no consistency among the protocols regarding length of antibiotic use, discharge criteria, or use of home antibiotics following discharge. Limiting duration of antibiotic use to 3 days did not appear to be associated with higher rates of intraabdominal abscess or wound infection. In the absence of higher-level evidence, shortening of antibiotic regimens following surgery for pediatric complicated appendicitis appears to be safe.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Appendectomy*
  • Appendicitis / complications
  • Appendicitis / pathology
  • Appendicitis / surgery*
  • Appendix / pathology
  • Gangrene
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Perforation / complications
  • Intestinal Perforation / surgery
  • Postoperative Care
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents