Purpose: Antibiotics have long been recommended as a form of conservative therapy in patients with acute uncomplicated diverticulitis despite no supporting evidence. This meta-analysis aims to assess the difference in outcomes between observational therapy and antibiotics regime in patients with acute uncomplicated diverticulitis.
Methods: Medline and Embase electronic databases were reviewed. A comparative meta-analysis in odds ratios (ORs) or mean difference (MD) was conducted using a random effects model for dichotomous and continuous outcomes, respectively. Randomized controlled trials comparing outcomes in patients with acute uncomplicated diverticulitis on observational therapy compared to antibiotics regime were selected. Outcomes of interest included all-cause mortality, complications, emergency surgery rates, length of stay, and recurrence.
Results: A total of 7 articles looking at 5 different randomized controlled trials were included. A total of 2959 patients with acute uncomplicated diverticulitis comprising of 1485 patients on antibiotics therapy and 1474 patients on observational therapy were included in the comparison. We found that there was no statistically significant difference in all-cause mortality (OR = 0.98; 95% CI 0.53;1.81; p = 0.68), complications (OR = 1.04; 95% CI 0.36;3.02; p = 0.51), emergency surgery (OR = 1.24; 95% CI 0.70;2.19, p = 0.92), length of stay (M.D: -0.14, 95% CI -0.50;0.23, p < 0.001), and recurrent diverticulitis (OR 1.01; 95% CI 0.83;1.22, p < 0.91) between the two arms.
Conclusion: This systemic review and meta-analysis found that there is no statistically significant difference in outcomes between patients with acute uncomplicated diverticulitis who were put on observational therapy compared to the antibiotics regime. This suggests that observational therapy is an equally safe and effective therapy as compared to antibiotics therapy.
Keywords: Acute uncomplicated diverticulitis; Antibiotics.
© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.