The frequency of bacteremia following the extraction of teeth and its importance in the development of bacterial endocarditis have been established both experimentally1 and clinically.2 Since endocarditis is such a serious disease, the introduction of the sulfonamide compounds and antibiotics has been inevitably followed by studies to determine their value in the prevention and eradication of this bacteremia. Although the results obtained by sulfonamide prophylaxis were encouraging, nevertheless cases of bacterial endocarditis were observed after premedication with the sulfonamide drugs. Because penicillin is superior to sulfonamide compounds in the treatment of endocarditis, it seemed advisable to us to employ this antibiotic in an attempt to prevent the bacteremia which follows dental extraction.
PLAN OF STUDY
Patients who were to have teeth extracted were placed in two groups, one to receive penicillin before operation and the other to serve as a control. In nearly every instance, the patient had
HIRSH HL, VIVINO JJ, MERRIL A, DOWLING HF. EFFECT OF PROPHYLACTICALLY ADMINISTERED PENICILLIN ON INCIDENCE OF BACTEREMIA FOLLOWING EXTRACTION OF TEETHResults in Patients with Healed Rheumatic and Bacterial Endocarditis. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1948;81(6):868–878. doi:10.1001/archinte.1948.00220240077005