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Necessity of antibiotics in the management of surgically treated mandibular osteomyelitis: A systematic review

      Objectives

      Mandibular osteomyelitis remains an incompletely understood entity, and treatment of its various presentations remains diverse. The purpose of this study was to review the necessity of antibiotic therapy after surgical treatment of mandibular osteomyelitis.

      Study Design

      A systematic review of published articles on surgical management of mandibular osteomyelitis with or without postoperative antibiotic therapy was performed to answer the question, “Does the use of postoperative antibiotics compared with surgery alone alter the success rate in treating mandibular osteomyelitis?” The most recent evidence was sought by searching PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases. Article appraisal was performed by 2 reviewers.

      Results

      Forty-five articles were found that met the inclusion criteria, with all studies being retrospective cohort or case series designs. Only 13 articles used Zurich classification designations of acute osteomyelitis, secondary chronic osteomyelitis, or primary chronic osteomyelitis, and the general heterogeneity of these articles made comparison difficult. No study made an intentional statistical assessment of various antibiotic protocols.

      Conclusions

      Limited evidence suggested that resection may have better success rates than other forms of surgical intervention, regardless of antibiotic therapy. This systematic review questions the perceived necessity of intermediate- or long-term antibiotic therapy in the management of mandibular osteomyelitis after surgical resection.
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