Selective decontamination of the digestive tract in surgical patients: a systematic review of the evidence. Arch Surg

Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Archives of Surgery (Impact Factor: 4.93). 03/1999; 134(2):170-6.
Source: PubMed


To determine the comparative efficacy of selective decontamination of the digestive tract in critically ill surgical and medical patients, and in selected subgroups of surgical patients with pancreatitis, major burn injury, and those undergoing major elective surgery and transplantation.
The MEDLINE database was searched from January 1966 to December 1996 using the terms "decontamination or prophylaxis," "intensive care units," and "antibiotics." The search was limited to English-language studies evaluating the efficacy of selective decontamination of the digestive tract in human subjects.
The primary review was restricted to prospective randomized trials.
End points of interest included rates of nosocomial pneumonia, bacteremia, urinary tract infection, wound infection, mortality, and length of intensive care unit stay. Methodologic quality of individual studies was assessed using a previously described model.
Odds ratios (ORs) together with their (95% confidence interval [Cls]) were reported and determined using the Mantel-Haenszel method. Mortality was significantly reduced with the use of selective decontamination of the digestive tract in critically ill surgical patients (OR, 0.7, 95% CI, 0.52-0.93), while no such effect was demonstrated in critically ill medical patients (OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.71-1.18). The greatest effect was demonstrated in studies where both the topical and systemic components of the regimen were used. Rates of pneumonia were reduced in both subsets of patients, while those of bacteremia were significantly reduced only in surgical patients.
Selective decontamination of the digestive tract notably reduces mortality in critically ill surgical patients, while critically ill medical patients derive no such benefit. These data suggest that the use of selective decontamination of the digestive tract should be limited to those populations in whom rates of nosocomial infection are high and in whom infection contributes notably to adverse outcome.

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    • "1999 21/N.A. N.A. 0.70 [0.52–0.93] a Nathens [44] "
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    ABSTRACT: Selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD) has been subject of numerous randomized controlled trials in critically ill patients. Almost all clinical trials showed SDD to prevent pneumonia. Nevertheless, SDD has remained a controversial strategy. One reason for why clinicians remained reluctant to implement SDD into daily practice could be that mortality was reduced in only 2 trials. Another reason could be the heterogeneity of trials of SDD. Indeed, many different prophylactic antimicrobial regimes were tested, and dissimilar diagnostic criteria for pneumonia were applied amongst the trials. This heterogeneity impeded interpretation and comparison of trial results. Two other hampering factors for implementation of SDD have been concerns over the risk of antimicrobial resistance and fear for escalation of costs associated with the use of prophylactic antimicrobials. This paper describes the concept of SDD, summarizes the results of published trials of SDD in mixed medical-surgical intensive care units, and rationalizes the risk of antimicrobial resistance and rise of costs associated with this potentially life-saving preventive strategy.
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    • "Formation of such biofilms can be delayed, but not prevented, by the use of tubes with special coatings [3]. Selective decontamination using antibiotics in the oral cavity alone [4-6] or throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract [7,8], has been shown to lower the incidence of VAP and reduce mortality. However, the use of such procedures is limited due to the risk of bacteria developing resistance to the antibiotics [9,10]. "
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    Full-text · Article · Dec 2008 · Critical care (London, England)
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    • "Most randomized control trials found a beneficial effect in reduction of bacterial colonization and/or VAP; however, effects on length of stay in the ICU and mortality are inconsistent. Although some analyses suggest a reduction in mortality in selected patients [24,27], others have demonstrated only a modest effect with the use of combined (topical and systemic) SDD therapy [18,19,23]. Survival advantage seems to be limited to surgical ICU patients treated with a combination of parenteral and topical prophylactic antibiotics [18,24,30]. "
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