In This Edition
Literature at a Glance
A guide to this month’s studies
- Antibiotics after drainage of uncomplicated skin abscesses
- Clopidogrel vs. combined aspirin-dipyridamole for acute ischemic stroke
- BNP-guided therapy in chronic heart failure outpatients
- Cognitive decline and dementia after hospitalization
- Clopidogrel delays up risks for DES implantation patients
- Clinical score identifies prolonged length of stay
- Time to therapy reduces mortality in sepsis patients
- PEEP associated with lower mortality for ARDS patients
Antibiotics Might Be Unnecessary after Drainage of Uncomplicated Skin Abscesses
Clinical question: Does trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) treatment after drainage of a skin abscess reduce treatment failure at seven days or development of new lesions at 30 days?
Background: Community ac-quired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin abscesses are increasing in frequency. The benefit of antibiotic treatment after incision and drainage is not clear, as there is a high cure rate without antibiotics.
Study design: Multicenter, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
Setting: Four military EDs treating civilians and military patients.
Synopsis: The study enrolled a convenience sample of 220 patients, each of whom presented to EDs with uncomplicated skin abscesses from November 2007 to June 2009. Abscesses were drained in the ED, then patients were randomized to either placebo or to TMP/SMX (two DS tablets twice daily) for seven days. Re-evaluation for wound checks occurred at two days and seven days.
Treatment failure at seven days, defined as worsening infection, new lesions, or absence of clinical improvement, occurred in 26% of placebo patients and 17% of patients in the treatment arm, a nonsignificant difference (P=0.12). Fewer patients in the treatment arm had new lesions at 30 days (28% vs. 9%, P=0.02). MRSA was cultured from 53% of patients overall; all samples were sensitive to TMP/SMX.
The study was limited by the fact that only 69% of patients were evaluated at 30 days.
Bottom line: TMP/SMX treatment of uncomplicated skin abscess after drainage in EDs does not decrease treatment failure at seven days, but might decrease the development of new lesions.
Citation: Schmitz GR, Bruner D, Pitotti R, et al. Randomized controlled trial of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for uncomplicated skin abscesses in patients at risk for community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection [published online ahead of print March 29, 2010]. Ann Emerg Med. doi:10.1016/j.annemerg med.2010.03.002.
Clopidogrel and Combined Aspirin-Dipyridamole Have Similar Safety and Efficacy Profiles for Acute Ischemic Stroke
Clinical question: What is the efficacy and safety of combined aspirin and extended-release dipyridamole (Asp/ER-DP) compared to clopidogrel in patients with acute ischemic stroke?
Background: Long-term antiplatelet therapy is effective at reducing recurrence after ischemic stroke. However, the relative safety and efficacy of Asp/ER-DP or clopidogrel is not known in patients with acute ischemic stroke.
Study design: Randomized, controlled trial.
Setting: A multicenter trial involving 695 sites in 35 countries.
Synopsis: This post-hoc subgroup analysis of the PRoFESS (Prevention Regimen for Effectively Avoiding Second Strokes) trial assessed the relative safety and efficacy of Asp/ER-DP versus clopidogrel administered within 72 hours of stroke onset in 1,360 patients. The primary endpoint was functional outcome at 30 days.
Secondary outcomes included symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation of the infarct, cerebral edema, recurrent stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), composite vascular events (combination of nonfatal stroke, nonfatal MI, and vascular death), death, cognition, bleeding, and serious adverse events studied at seven, 30, and 90 days.
Combined death or dependency did not differ between treatment groups. Nonsignificant trends to reduced recurrence and vascular events were present with Asp/ER-DP. Rates of death, major bleeding, and serious adverse events did not differ between treatment groups.