The impact of low-dose versus high-dose antibiotic prophylaxis regimens on surgical site infection rates after cesarean delivery

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2020 Jan;301(1):69-73. doi: 10.1007/s00404-019-05370-y. Epub 2019 Dec 6.


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine if high-dose antibiotic prophylaxis with cefazolin decreases the risk of surgical site infection (SSI) after a cesarean delivery.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of women who underwent a cesarean section. Two preoperative antibiotic regimens were compared: low dose versus high dose. The primary outcome was SSI. A sample size of 343 patients per group was calculated for a 50% reduction in risk for SSI.

Results: Seven hundred and thirty women were included with an incidence of SSI of 5%. Women who received the high-dose antibiotic regimen had lower rates of risk factors for SSI. The only exception was skin incision closure with staples. The rate of SSI did not differ between the low-dose and high-dose groups, even after adjusting for confounding variables [aOR 1.78, 95% CI (0.82-3.9)].

Conclusions: Higher doses of antibiotic prophylaxis did not decrease the rates of SSI after cesarean delivery.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Cesarean; Infection; Pregnancy; Prophylaxis; Wound.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / methods*
  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects*
  • Cesarean Section / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection / drug therapy*