Decreasing incidence of postcesarean endometritis with extended-spectrum antibiotic prophylaxis

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To describe the effect of an extended-spectrum prophylactic antibiotic regimen on postcesarean endometritis. METHODS: This is a cohort study of trends in postcesarean endometritis using data both from prospective surveillance by the infection control unit and from query of our obstetric computerized database to compare three periods of antibiotic prophylaxis: standard narrow-spectrum with intravenous first- or second-generation cephalosporin (1992-1996), clinical trial of extended-spectrum with addition of intravenous doxycycline and oral azithromycin (1997-1999), and routine use of extended-spectrum with addition of intravenous azithromycin (2001-2006) to standard cephalosporin prophylaxis. RESULTS: A total of 48,913 deliveries at 24 weeks or more of gestation occurred from 1992 to 2006, of which 10,966 (22.4%) were cesarean deliveries. Annual cesarean rates increased from 16% to 27.5%. Trends in the incidence of postcesarean endometritis revealed a biphasic decrease consistent with the phased introduction of extended-spectrum prophylaxis. Incidence (95% confidence interval [CI]) of endometritis by prospective surveillance dropped from 19.9% (95% CI 18.6-21.3%) to 15.4% (95% CI 13.2-17.9%) during the clinical trial period: relative risk (RR) 0.77 (95% CI 0.66-0.91), P=.002; and then to 6.3% (95% CI 5.0-7.9%) during routine use of extended-spectrum prophylaxis: RR 0.41 (95% CI 0.31-0.54), P<.001. Corresponding incidence by database query dropped from 23% (95% CI 21.5-24.4%) to 16% (95% CI 14.4-17.9%): RR 0.69 (95% CI 0.61-0.79), P<.001; and then to 2.1% (95% CI 1.8-2.6%): RR 0.13 (95% CI 0.11-0.16), P<.001. These findings were unchanged after adjusting for potential confounders. CONCLUSION: Extended-spectrum antibiotic prophylaxis involving the addition of azithromycin to standard narrow-spectrum prophylaxis was associated with a significant reduction in postcesarean endometritis. © 2008 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tita ATN; Hauth JC; Grimes A; Owen J; Stamm AM; Andrews WW
  • Start Page

  • 51
  • End Page

  • 56
  • Volume

  • 111
  • Issue

  • 1