Research Article

Prophylactic co-trimoxazole in biliary surgery.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 12 August 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:462
  1. C Morran,
  2. W McNaught,
  3. C S McArdle


    A double-blind study was conducted to test the prophylactic effect of a single dose of co-trimoxazole on the incidence of septic complications after elective cholecystectomy. Forty-eight patients received co-trimoxazole and 47 placebo. Wound sepsis occurred in 10 (21%) of the controls but in only 2 (4%) of the treated group, and the incidences of pulmonary complications were 49% (23 cases) and 19% (9) respectively. These differences were significnat. Wound sepsis after cholecystectomy occurs mostly in patients with infected bile. Co-trimoxazole given by intravenous infusion rapidly achieves a high concentration in the palsma and is effective against most biliary pathogens.