This from our sister unit at Zurich’s The Balgrist along with one of our longest-standing SALSAmigos, Prof. Ben Lipsky.
To retrospectively evaluate clinical and microbiological outcomes after combined surgical and medical therapy for diabetic foot infections (DFIs), stratifying between the empirical versus the targeted nature, and between an empirical broad versus a narrow-spectrum, antibiotic therapy.
We retrospectively assessed the rate of ultimate therapeutic failures for each of three types of initial postoperative antibiotic therapy: adequate empirical therapy; culture-guided therapy; and empirical inadequate therapy with a switch to targeted treatment based on available microbiological results.
We included data from 332 patients who underwent 716 DFI episodes of surgical debridement, including partial amputations. Clinical failure occurred in 40 of 194 (20.6%) episodes where adequate empirical therapy was given, in 77 of 291 (26.5%) episodes using culture-guided (and correct) therapy from the start, and in 73 of 231 (31.6%) episodes with switching from empirical inadequate therapy to culture-targeted therapy. Equally, a broad-spectrum antibiotic choice could not alter this failure risk. Group comparisons, Kaplan–Meier curves and Cox regression analyses failed to show either statistical superiority or inferiority of any of the initial antibiotic strategies.
In this study, the microbiological adequacy of the initial antibiotic regimen after (surgical) debridement for DFI did not alter therapeutic outcomes. We recommend that clinicians follow the stewardship approach of avoiding antibiotic de-escalation and start with a narrow-spectrum regimen based on the local epidemiology.