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April 1984

Efficacy of Two Third-Generation Cephalosporins in Prophylaxis for Head and Neck Surgery

Arch Otolaryngol. 1984;110(4):224-227. doi:10.1001/archotol.1984.00800300016003

• Optimal antimicrobial prophylaxis during head and neck surgery is as yet unclear. The semisynthetic third-generation cephalosporin antibiotics would appear to have potential usefulness because of their broad antibacterial spectrum, favorable pharmacokinetic properties, and record of safety. Eighty patients were prospectively randomized into this placebo-controlled, double-blind study to receive either placebo, cefoperazone sodium, or cefotaxime sodium preoperatively and for 24 hours postoperatively. Infection rates were 78% for the placebo group and 10% for the group receiving the cephalosporin antibiotics. Infections were polymicrobial. Anaerobic bacteria constituted 42% of the pathogens isolated. Wound and serum antibiotic concentrations exceeded the minimal inhibitory concentration of the bacterial flora. This study establishes the necessity of antimicrobial prophylaxis for contaminated oncologic procedures of the head and neck. Our experience indicates that cefoperazone and cefotaxime are particularly useful.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1984;110:224-227)