Managing acute uncomplicated appendicitis in frail geriatric patients: A second hit may be too much
AffiliationDivision of Trauma, Critical Care, Burn, and Emergency Surgery, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Arizona
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherLippincott Williams and Wilkins
CitationChehab, M., Ditillo, M., Khurrum, M., Gries, L., Asmar, S., Douglas, M., ... & Joseph, B. (2021). Managing acute uncomplicated appendicitis in frail geriatric patients: A second hit may be too much. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 90(3), 501-506.
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AbstractINTRODUCTION: Studies have proposed the use of antibiotics only in cases of acute uncomplicated appendicitis (AUA). However, there remains a paucity of data evaluating this nonoperative approach in the vulnerable frail geriatric population. The aim of this study was to examine long-term outcomes of frail geriatric patients with AUA treated with appendectomy compared with initial nonoperative management (NOP). METHODS: We conducted a 1-year (2017) analysis of the Nationwide Readmissions Database and included all frail geriatric patients(age, ≥65 years) with a diagnosis of AUA. Frailty was assessed using the five-factor modified frailty index. Patients were stratified into those undergoing appendectomy at index admission (operative management) versus those receiving antibiotics only without operative intervention (NOP). Propensity score matching in a 1:1 ratio was performed adjusting for patient- and hospital-related factors. RESULTS: A total of 5,562 frail geriatric patients with AUA were identified from which a matched cohort of 1,320 patients in each group was obtained. Patients in the NOP and operative management were comparable in terms of age (75.5 ± 7.7 vs. 75.5 ± 7.4 years; p = 0.882) and modified frailty index (0.4 [0.4-0.6] vs. 0.4 [0.4-0.6]; p = 0.526). Failure of NOP management was reported in 18% of patients, 95% of which eventually underwent appendectomy. Over the 6-month follow-up period, patients in the NOP group had significantly higher rates of Clostridium difficile enterocolitis (3% vs. 1%; p < 0.001), greater number of overall hospitalized days (5 [3-9] vs. 4 [2-7] days; p < 0.001), and higher overall costs (US $16,000 [12,000-25,000] vs. US $11,000 [8,000-19,000]; p < 0.001). Patients undergoing appendectomy after failed NOP had significantly higher rates of complications (20% vs. 11%; p < 0.001), mortality (4% vs. 2%; p = 0.019), and appendiceal neoplasm (3% vs. 1%; p = 0.027). CONCLUSION: One in six patients failed NOP within 6 months and required appendectomy with subsequent more complications and higher mortality. Appendectomy may offer better outcomes in managing AUA in the frail geriatric population. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, level IV. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
Note12 month embargo; first published online 1 March 2021
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
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