International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 688–692 | Cite as

Single-dose metronidazole vs 5-day multi-drug antibiotic regimen in excision of pilonidal sinuses with primary closure: a prospective, randomized, double-blinded pilot study

  • A. ChaudhuriEmail author
  • B. A. Bekdash
  • A. L. Taylor
Original Article



To compare infection-related wound complications following excision of pilonidal sinuses with primary closure using either single-dose intravenous (i.v.) administration of metronidazole preoperatively or a broad-spectrum multi-drug regimen.

Patients and methods

This is a double-blinded study wherein 50 patients were randomized into receiving either single-drug (metronidazole 500 mg i.v.) prophylaxis preoperatively or multi-drug cover (cefuroxime 1.5 g i.v. and metronidazole 0.5 g i.v. preoperatively, and co-amoxiclav 375 mg orally 8-hourly postoperatively for 5 days). They were reviewed at 1, 2 and 4 weeks postoperatively. Wounds were graded as follows: I, healthy; II, redness and swelling of edges; III, abscess in relation to a suture; IV, spreading wound infection; and V, wound breakdown. Other factors considered were the distance from the lowest wound margin to the anal verge and previous local surgery.


Fifty patients (38 men and 12 women, mean age 27 years) underwent pilonidal sinus surgery. At week 1, there was no difference in wound infection rates (p=0.9). However, there were significantly more wound infections in the single-drug group at week 2 (p<0.0001) and week 4 (p=0.03). Seventy-two per cent of all patients had complete wound healing at week 4. Distance from the anal verge and previous surgery did not affect wound infection rates (p≥0.2). Treating such complications costs $73,219.20 per 100 patients.


A broad-spectrum 5-day regimen is superior to ‘single-shot’ antibiotic prophylaxis in preventing infection-related wound complications. However, this study needs to be conducted in a larger number of patients to have statistical power.


Pilonidal sinus Primary closure Antibiotic cover Infection-related wound complications 



per os (by mouth)


ter in die (thrice a day)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryHinchingbrooke HospitalHuntingdonUK
  2. 2.Addenbrooke's HospitalCambridgeUK

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