Research Article| Volume 21, ISSUE 9, P1589-1603, September 1999

An economic analysis of antimicrobial prophylaxis against urinary tract infection in patients undergoing transurethral resection of the prostate

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      Despite the high level of safety and low incidence of mortality associated with transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), urinary tract infections (UTIs)—the most common complication associated with this procedure—continue to be an important source of postoperative morbidity and costs. However, there is controversy about whether antimicrobial agents should be used as UTI prophylaxis in patients undergoing TURP and, if so, which agents should be used and for what duration. This retrospective study used multivariate regression analysis to evaluate the different types and durations of antibiotic prophylaxis in 222 patients who underwent TURP at a Veterans Affairs hospital between January 1, 1995, and March 30, 1998. The primary outcome measures were total medical costs (ie, medication use, clinic office visits, and hospital care in the 4 weeks after the procedure), length of hospital stay (total days in hospital due to the procedure), and probability of UTI (incidence of infection in the 4 weeks after the procedure). Results showed that there was no difference in the length of hospital stay regardless of the regimen or duration of pre-TURP antibiotic therapy. Patients who received pre-TURP ampicillin plus ceftizoxime incurred moderately higher total medical costs than did patients who received the least costly drug, cefazolin (P = 0.10). Similarly, patients who received postTURP quinolones incurred a significantly higher total medical cost than did patients who received co-trimoxazole (P = 0.06). We found no evidence of a relationship between use of specific parenteral or oral antibiotic prophylaxis for UTI in patients undergoing TURP and the rate of UTI in such patients. Thus there is no justification for the use of more expensive antibiotic regimens. At our institution, the preferred pre-TURP prophylactic regimen would be cefazolin, whereas co-trimoxazole would be the most cost-effective post-TURP prophylactic regimen. Because duration of post-TURP prophylaxis does not appear to influence the rate of UTI, 24 hours would seem adequate.

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