This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
The appendix is a small sac at the bottom of the large intestine. Appendicitis is a health problem that occurs when this sac becomes inflamed. Appendicitis can cause pain, fever, and even death.
Each year in the United States, more than 70,000 children have surgery to treat this health problem. However, studies outside the United States show that with most patients, antibiotics alone are safe and work well to treat appendicitis. People treated with antibiotics may also be able to return to normal activities faster than those who have surgery. Some patients may prefer treatment with antibiotics alone.
In this study, the research team wants to know how well antibiotics alone, compared with surgery, work to treat children with appendicitis.
Who can this research help?
Findings from this study may help doctors, patients, and caregivers decide whether to treat appendicitis with surgery or antibiotics alone.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is enrolling 1,040 patients ages 7 to 17 with early appendicitis from 10 children’s hospitals. Patients and their families choose between antibiotics alone or surgery to remove the appendix. Patients who choose antibiotics alone receive at least 24 hours of intravenous, or IV, antibiotics at the hospital. If their condition improves, they switch to oral antibiotics, taken at home for six more days. Patients who choose surgery get IV antibiotics and surgery to remove the appendix.
The research team is surveying families and looking at medical records at discharge, 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year after treatment to find out how many patients who got antibiotics alone later had surgery. The survey also asks patients and caregivers about how fast they returned to daily activities and how happy they were with care. The team also asks patients about their quality of life and treatment complications.
Patients, caregivers, doctors, health insurers, and health educators helped design and conduct the study.
Research methods at a glance
- William Hawke
- Nicholas Hawke
- Rebeccah Abanukam
- Trinity Patten
- Amanda Monroe
- Alyssa Gillman
- Diana Godwin
- William Blake Godwin
- Darcy Moulin
- Lorelei Moulin
- Melissa Blom
- Maxwell Blom
- Iluminado Castellano
- Tanner Goodman
- Joshua Montalvo
- Aubrey Gibson
- Jason Gibson
- Aria Gibson
- Liz Sullivan
- Kaleb Boyd
- Luanne Farr
- Nolan Chehak
- Mrs. Caldwell
- Maurilio Valdes
- Nicolas Valdes
- Lisa Valdes
- Lisa Shrader
Other Stakeholder Partners
- Alisa McQueen, MD, Physician
- C. Stephen Baum, MD, Pediatrician
- Kathryn E. Nuss, MD, Physician
- Sean Gleeson, MD, President of Partners for Kids
- Paul Seese, RN, MSN Home Health Manager
- Robert T. Rohloff, MD, Physician and Director of Quality and Patient Safety
- Lawrence Moss, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief
- Dana Schinasi MD, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
- Darryl Robbins, DO, Physician
- Michael Levas, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
- Courtney Porter, RN, MS, Clinical Leader at Canal Winchester Urgent
- Gian Musarra, MD, Assistant Professor