• A randomized, prospective trial was conducted of 93 patients with operatively confirmed intra-abdominal sepsis. The study compared clindamycin-gentamicin and chloramphenicol-gentamicin for treatment of carefully stratified patient groups. Malnutrition, age over 65 years, shock, alcoholism, gastrointestinal tract bleeding, steroid administration, diabetes, obesity, and organ malfunction were present with equal frequencies in each group. The duration of antibiotic treatment averaged 8½ days, and the average length of postoperative hospitalization was 29 days. Study antibiotics were changed for bacteriologic reasons in 11 patients taking clindamycin-gentamicin and 12 patients taking chloramphenicol-gentamicin (25% of the total), and two patients in the clindamycin-gentamicin group had a minor adverse reaction. Initial satisfactory clinical responses were obtained in 59 (63%) patients. Twenty-five patients (27%) subsequently developed unsatisfactory courses, but 48 (52%) patients remained well through the 30-day period. Septic-related mortality occurred in 18 (19%) patients, and two (2%) patients had unrelated deaths. There were no significant differences between the study regimens by the outcome criteria evaluated.
(Arch Surg 1985;120:889-898)