Optimal First-Line Antibiotic Treatment for Pediatric Complicated Appendicitis Based on Peritoneal Fluid Culture

Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2021 Nov;24(6):510-517. doi: 10.5223/pghn.2021.24.6.510. Epub 2021 Nov 5.


Purpose: Consensus is lacking regarding the optimal antibiotic treatment for pediatric complicated appendicitis. This study determined the optimal first-line antibiotic treatment for pediatric patients with complicated appendicitis based on peritoneal fluid cultures.

Methods: This retrospective study examined the cases of pediatric patients who underwent appendectomy for complicated appendicitis at our institution between 2013 and 2019. Peritoneal fluid specimens obtained during appendectomy were cultured for the presence of bacteria.

Results: Eighty-six pediatric patients were diagnosed with complicated appendicitis. Of them, bacteria were identified in 54 peritoneal fluid samples. The major identified bacteria were Escherichia coli (n=36 [66.7%]), Bacteroides fragilis (n=28 [51.9%]), α-Streptococcus (n=25 [46.3%]), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=10 [18.5%]), Enterococcus avium (n=9 [16.7%]), γ-Streptococcus (n=9 [16.7%]), and Klebsiella oxytoca (n=6 [11.1%]). An antibiotic susceptibility analysis showed E. coli was inhibited by sulbactam/ampicillin in 43.8% of cases versus cefmetazole in 100% of cases. Tazobactam/piperacillin and meropenem inhibited the growth of 96.9-100% of the major identified bacteria. E. coli (100% vs. 84.6%) and P. aeruginosa (100% vs. 80.0%) were more susceptible to amikacin than gentamicin.

Conclusion: Tazobactam/piperacillin or meropenem is a reasonable first-line antibiotic treatment for pediatric complicated appendicitis. In the case of aminoglycoside use, amikacin is recommended.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Complicated appendicitis; Culture; Pediatric; Peritoneal fluid.