The clinical efficacy and safety of sulbactam/ampicillin versus metronidazole/gentamicin were compared in 39 patients with severe pelvic infections. 30 patients had severe acute pelvic inflammatory disease with peritonitis, 3 tubo-ovarian abscesses, 4 endomyometritis, and 2 posthysterectomy pelvic cellulitis. Aerobic and anaerobic cultures from the sites of infection yielded 259 micro-organisms from 38 patients; an average of 6.8 bacteria per infection (3.9 anaerobes and 2.9 aerobes). The most frequent isolates were Bacteroides spp. (21), B. bivius (13), B. disiens (8), Fusobacterium spp. (9), Peptostreptococcus anaerobius (15), P. asaccharolyticus (8), anaerobic Gram-positive cocci (17), Gardnerella vaginalis (24), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (14), α-haemolytic streptococci (6) and Escherichia coli (3).
Clinical cure was noted in 19 of 20 patients treated with sulbactam/ampicillin and 16 of 19 treated with metronidazole/gentamicin. The sulbactam/ampicillin failure was a patient with pelvic inflammatory disease with a positive Chlamydia trachomatis culture who required antichlamydial therapy. The metronidazole/gentamicin failures included a patient with a tubo-ovarian abscess requiring surgical drainage and 2 patients with pelvic inflammatory disease requiring antichlamydial treatment. No adverse haematological, renal, or hepatic effects were noted with either regimen.
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