JOURNAL ARTICLE
META-ANALYSIS
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
REVIEW
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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Antibiotic regimens for postpartum endometritis.

BACKGROUND: Postpartum endometritis occurs when vaginal organisms invade the endometrial cavity during the labor process and cause infection. This is more common following cesarean birth. The condition warrants antibiotic treatment.

OBJECTIVES: Systematically, to review treatment failure and other complications of different antibiotic regimens for postpartum endometritis.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (30 November 2014) and reference lists of retrieved studies.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized trials of different antibiotic regimens after cesarean birth or vaginal birth; no quasi-randomized trials were included.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and risk of bias, extracted data and checked them for accuracy.

MAIN RESULTS: The review includes a total of 42 trials, and 40 of these trials contributed data on 4240 participants.Regarding the primary outcomes, seven studies compared clindamycin plus an aminoglycoside versus penicillins and showed fewer treatment failures (risk ratio (RR) 0.65, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.46 to 0.90). There were more treatment failures in those treated with an aminoglycoside plus penicillin when compared to those treated with gentamycin/clindamycin (RR 2.57, 95% CI 1.48 to 4.46). There were more treatment failures (RR 1.66, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.74) and wound infections (RR 1.88, 95% CI 1.08 to 3.28) in those treated with second or third generation cephalosporins (excluding cephamycins) versus those treated with clindamycin plus gentamycin. In four studies comparing once-daily with thrice-daily dosing of gentamicin, there were fewer failures with once-daily dosing. There were more treatment failures (RR 1.94, 95% CI 1.38 to 2.72) and wound infections (RR 1.88, 95% CI 1.17 to 3.02) in those treated with a regimen with poor activity against penicillin-resistant anaerobic bacteria as compared to those treated with a regimen with good activity against penicillin-resistant anaerobic bacteria. There were no differences between groups with respect to severe complications and no trials reported any maternal deaths.Regarding the secondary outcomes, three studies that compared continued oral antibiotic therapy after intravenous therapy with no oral therapy, found no differences in recurrent endometritis or other outcomes. Four trials that compared clindamycin plus aminoglycoside versus cephalosporins identified fewer wound infections in those treated with clindamycin plus an aminoglycoside (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.93). There were no differences between groups for the outcomes of allergic reactions. The overall risk of bias was unclear in the most of the studies. The quality of the evidence using GRADE comparing clindamycin and an aminoglycoside with another regimen (compared with cephalosporins or penicillins) was low to very low for therapeutic failure, severe complications, wound infection and allergic reaction.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The combination of clindamycin and gentamicin is appropriate for the treatment of endometritis. Regimens with good activity against penicillin-resistant anaerobic bacteria are better than those with poor activity against penicillin-resistant anaerobic bacteria. There is no evidence that any one regimen is associated with fewer side-effects. Following clinical improvement of uncomplicated endometritis which has been treated with intravenous therapy, the use of additional oral therapy has not been proven to be beneficial.

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