Antibiotics are advised in most guidelines on diverticulitis, which arises when one or more small pouches in the digestive tract become inflamed or infected. Results from a randomized trial question the effectiveness of this practice, however.
In the 528-patient study, median time to recovery was 14 days for patients who underwent observation and 12 days for those who received antibiotics. No significant differences between the observation and antibiotic treatment groups were found concerning rates of complicated diverticulitis, ongoing diverticulitis, recurrent diverticulitis, surgery, hospital readmission, adverse events, and mortality. Hospital stay was significantly shorter in the observation group (2 versus 3 days).
The findings are published in the British Journal of Surgery.
Article: Randomized clinical trial of observational versus antibiotic treatment for a first episode of CT-proven uncomplicated acute diverticulitis, L. Daniels, Ç. Ünlü, N. de Korte, S. van Dieren, H. B. Stockmann, B. C. Vrouenraets, E. C. Consten, J. A. van der Hoeven, Q. A. Eijsbouts, I. F. Faneyte, W. A. Bemelman, M. G. Dijkgraaf, M. A. Boermeester, for the Dutch Diverticular Disease (3D) Collaborative Study Group, British Journal of Surgery, doi: 10.1002/bjs.10309, published online 30 September 2016.