Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common complication after pelvic floor surgery. Antibiotics as prophylaxis may reduce the prevalence of UTI’s by 50%, but bacterial resistance may be a large disadvantage, necessitating the search for other possible prophylactic options. Recent research found a 50% reduction in the rate of UTI’s with the use of cranberry capsules after elective gynecologic surgery, suggesting that cranberry capsules may serve as a good prophylaxis. The aim of this study was to assess whether perioperative cranberry prophylaxis reduces the risk of clinical overt UTI after elective pelvic floor surgery with indwelling catheter.
We conducted a single-center randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Women were given cranberry capsules twice daily or identical placebo for 6 weeks, starting the day before surgery. The main endpoint of the trial was the incidence of UTI within 6 weeks after surgery, defined as clinical diagnosis and treatment of UTI by the medical doctor. Analyses were performed with the intention to treat.
Two hundred ten participants were included, 105 in each arm. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of UTI between the cranberry arm (n = 13, 12.4%) and the placebo arm (n = 21, 20.0%; P = .13), but the prevalence in both arms was lower than anticipated.
This trial shows no beneficial effect of adequately dosed cranberry prophylaxis in women undergoing pelvic floor surgery, although such effect cannot be ruled out in settings with a higher prevalence of UTI’s.
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