November 12, 2020

Background: The well-established, standard treatment for acute appendicitis is surgical appendectomy.  However, recent research has challenged the dominance of the surgical approach in looking at antibiotics alone. The available literature on non-operative treatment of appendicitis (NOTA) has important limitations: exclusion of patients with appendicoliths, small sample size and predominance of open appendectomy over laparoscopic appendectomy. While data on NOTA is intriguing, it is clear that additional studies are needed.

April 3, 2017

Background: Historically the treatment of uncomplicated appendicitis has been appendectomy. The first appendectomy performed dates back to 1735 done by Claudius Amyand. Appendectomy has been the standard treatment for acute appendicitis every since Charles McBurney described it in 1889. However, studies have shown that an antibiotic first strategy may be feasible without increased risk of perforation, sepsis, and/or death.  This other approach is called NOTA (Non-Operative Treatment of Appendicitis).  Past RCTs were from Europe and this is the first NIH grant study to question this in the US. Antibiotic first strategies are used for uncomplicated diverticulitis, but have not been used in uncomplicated appendicitis. Several reasons why this strategy may be preferred include fewer complications, less pain, and less disability than an appendectomy first strategy.  There have been a couple of systematic reviews on the issue of NOTA that came to different conclusions (Varadhan et al. BMJ 2012 and Kirby et al. J of Infection 2015). To date, no US randomized trial has evaluated an antibiotics-first approach in uncomplicated appendicitis until now.
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