Comparison of CT- or ultrasound-guided drainage with concomitant intravenous antibiotics vs. intravenous antibiotics alone in the management of tubo-ovarian abscesses

N Goharkhay, U Verma, F Maggiorotto
Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology 2007, 29 (1): 65-9

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the outcome of treatment of tubo-ovarian abscesses by imaging-guided drainage and antibiotics vs. intravenous antibiotics alone.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review of all patients hospitalized with a diagnosis of tubo-ovarian abscess was performed. Patients were categorized into two groups. The first group consisted of subjects treated with intravenous antibiotics alone. Patients in the second group had primary image-guided drainage with concomitant intravenous antibiotics. Treatment failures in the primary antibiotics group underwent salvage drainage when feasible. The primary outcome of interest was complete response. Secondary outcomes included need for additional treatment, duration of resolution of fever, total length of hospital stay, and complication rates. We also evaluated the effectiveness of secondary drainage in patients who failed primary antibiotic therapy alone.

RESULTS: A total of 58 patients were included in the study. Fifty patients were treated primarily with intravenous antibiotics; eight patients had primary drainage, which was guided by ultrasound in all cases. Complete response was noted in 29 (58%) patients treated with antibiotics alone. All eight (100%) patients in the primary drainage group responded to treatment. Of the 21 treatment failures with primary antibiotics, two underwent surgery and 19 (90.5%) had salvage drainage with either ultrasound or computed tomographic guidance; 18 of 19 salvage drainages led to complete recovery. Subjects in the primary drainage group required shorter hospital stays and showed more rapid resolution of fever. No significant morbidity was noted as a consequence of drainage procedures. A higher failure rate for secondary drainage was noted in older patients, those with larger tubo-ovarian abscesses, and those with a history of pelvic inflammatory disease.

CONCLUSION: Drainage of tubo-ovarian abscesses with concomitant intravenous antibiotics is an effective and safe treatment for the primary or secondary treatment of tubo-ovarian abscesses.

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