Background: During the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a protocol was adopted by our department on antibiotics treatment for Acute Uncomplicated Appendicitis (AUA). Our study aimed to determine the feasibility and safety of nonoperative treatment (NOT), compared to upfront laparoscopic appendectomy (LA), for AUA in children during the pandemic. Method: Our prospective comparative study was conducted from May 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Patient selection criteria included: age ≥5 years, abdominal pain duration ≤48 hours, ultrasound (US)/Computered Tomography scan confirmation of AUA, US appendiceal diameter 6–11mm with no features of perforation/abscess collection and no faecolith. For NOT patients, intravenous antibiotics were administered for 24-48 hours followed by oral for 10-day course. Comparison was performed between patients whose parents preferred NOT to those who opted for up-front appendectomy. Primary outcomes were NOT success at index admission, early and late NOT failure rates till 27 months. Secondary outcomes were differences in complication rate, hospital length of stay (LOS) and cost between groups. Results: 77 patients were recruited: 43 (55.8%) underwent NOT while 34 (44.2%) patients opted for LA. Success of NOT at index admission was 90.7% (39/43). Overall, NOT failure rate at 27 months’ follow-up was 37.2% (16/43). Of the NOT failures, 1 appendix was normal on histology while only 1 was perforated. There were no significant differences in secondary outcomes between both groups except for LOS of late NOT failure. Cost for upfront LA was nearly thrice that of NOT. Conclusion: Our stringent COVID protocol together with shared decision-making with parents is a safe and feasible treatment option during a crisis situation.

Fuente: Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Available online 23 February 2023