Antibiotic prophylaxis versus no prophylaxis for preventing infection after cesarean section.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Oct 28CD
The single most important risk factor for postpartum maternal infection is cesarean section. Although guidelines endorse the use of prophylactic antibiotics for women undergoing cesarean section, there is not uniform implementation of this recommendation. This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 1995 and last updated in 2010.
To assess the effects of prophylactic antibiotics compared with no prophylactic antibiotics on infectious complications in women undergoing cesarean section.
We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 July 2014) and reference lists of retrieved papers.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs comparing the effects of prophylactic antibiotics versus no treatment in women undergoing cesarean section.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Two review authors independently assessed the studies for inclusion, assessed risk of bias and carried out data extraction. The clinically important primary outcomes were wound infection, endometritis, serious maternal infectious complications and adverse effects on the infant. We presented dichotomous data as risk ratios (RR), with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and combined trials in meta-analyses. We assessed the quality of evidence using the GRADE approach.
We identified 95 studies enrolling over 15,000 women. Compared with placebo or no treatment, the use of prophylactic antibiotics in women undergoing cesarean section reduced the incidence of wound infection (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.46, 82 studies, 14,407 women), endometritis (RR 0.38, 95% CI 0.34 to 0.42, 83 studies, 13,548 women) and maternal serious infectious complications (RR 0.31, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.49, 32 studies, 6159 women). When only studies that included women undergoing an elective cesarean section were analyzed, there was also a reduction in the incidence of wound infections (RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.82, 17 studies, 3537 women) and endometritis (RR 0.38, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.61, 15 studies, 2502 women) with prophylactic antibiotics. Similar estimates of effect were seen whether the antibiotics were administered before the cord was clamped or after. The effect of different antibiotic regimens was studied and similar reductions in the incidence of infections were seen for most of the antibiotics and combinations.There were no data on which to estimate the effect of maternal administration of antibiotics on infant outcomes. No studies systematically collected and reported on adverse infant outcomes nor the effect of antibiotics on the developing infant immune system. No studies reported on the incidence of oral candidiasis (thrush) in babies. Maternal adverse effects were also rarely described.We judged the evidence for antibiotic treatment compared with no treatment to be of moderate quality; most studies lacked an adequate description of methods and were assessed as being at unclear risk of bias.