Background: Acute cholecystitis occurs frequently in the elderly and in patients with gall stones. Most cases of severe or recurrent cholecystitis eventually require surgery, usually laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the Western World. It is unclear whether an initial, conservative approach with antibiotic and symptomatic therapy followed by delayed elective surgery would result in better morbidity and outcome than immediate surgery. At present, treatment is generally determined by whether the patient first sees a surgeon or a gastroenterologist. We wish to investigate whether both approaches are equivalent. The primary endpoint is the morbidity until day 75 after inclusion into the study.
Design: A multicenter, prospective, randomized non-blinded study to compare treatment outcome, complications and 75-day morbidity in patients with acute cholecystitis randomized to laparoscopic cholecystectomy within 24 hours of symptom onset or antibiotic treatment with moxifloxacin and subsequent elective cholecystectomy. For consistency in both arms moxifloxacin, a fluorquinolone with broad spectrum of activity and high bile concentration is used as antibiotic.
Duration: October 2006 - November 2008.
Organisation/responsibility: The trial was planned and is being conducted and analysed by the Departments of Gastroenterology and General Surgery at the University Hospital of Heidelberg according to the ethical, regulatory and scientific principles governing clinical research as set out in the Declaration of Helsinki (1989) and the Good Clinical Practice guideline (GCP).
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00447304.