Acute abdomen in the adult – Related resources

Cochrane reviews

  • Antibiotics are effective in preventing post-operative complications following infection of the peritoneum (peritonitis), but there is no evidence to support that one regimen is superior to another [Evidence Level: A].
  • Provided that surgical expertise and equipment are adequate, diagnostic laparoscopy and laparoscopic appendectomy (either in combination or separately) result in various advantages over open appendectomy[Evidence Level: A].
  • Prophylactic antibiotics decrease the rate of wound infections and intra-abdominal abscesses in patients with surgically treated appendicitis [Evidence Level: A].
  • Nasogastric decompression used routinely after abdominal surgery does not speed recovery [Evidence Level: A].
  • The use of opioid analgesics in patients with acute abdominal pain is effective in reducing pain and increasing patient comfort, and appears not to increase the risk of diagnostic error [Evidence Level: A].

Other evidence summaries

  • Carbapenem (imipenem/cilastatin or meropenem) is as effective as combinations of other antibiotics in the treatment of intra-abdominal infections [Evidence Level: A].


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