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Usefulness of intraoperative bile culture in patients with acute calculous cholecystitis with previous biliary events: does the postoperative management change?

PURPOSE: The aim of our study was to determine the usefulness of intraoperative gallbladder cultures in the postoperative course in surgically treated patients with acute calculous cholecystitis and previous biliary events (ACC-PBE).

METHODS: Retrospective unicenter study on surgically treated ACC-patients between January 2014 and December 2018. Clinical benefit was defined as a > 20% change in postoperative antibiotic treatment. Secondary endpoints: postoperative morbidity and length-of-stay (LOS) in ACC-PBE patients with positive intraoperative biliary culture (IBC). Statistical significance was defined as p < 0.05.

RESULTS: Out of the initial 711 patients, 203 met the study's inclusion criteria, with 139 of them having IBC results (72 positive, 67 negative). Our analysis revealed no significant difference in the incidence of positive-IBC between patients with ACC-PBE. Among this group, only 6% changed postoperative antibiotic treatment based on IBC results. There were no statistically significant differences in postoperative complications (p: 0.21) or LOS (p: 0.23) in the ACC-PBE group. In multivariate analysis, age > 70 years old (p: 0.00; HR 3.1, 95% IC [1.6-6.4]), prior ERCP (p: 0.02; HR 5.9, 95% IC [1.25-27.5]) and prior antibiotic treatment (p: 0.01; HR 3.6, 95% IC [1.32-9.86]) were identified as independent factors that influenced PBC.

CONCLUSIONS: IBC in operated ACC-PBE do not alter postoperative management. While positive-IBC was associated with age, prior ERCP, and prior antibiotic treatment, these findings did not have a significant impact on postoperative morbidity or LOS.

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