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Impact of antibiotic prophylaxis on the incidence, nature, magnitude, and duration of bacteremiaassociated with dental procedures: A systematic review

Autores: Lafaurie GINoriega LATorres CCCastillo YMoscoso SBMosquera SDíaz-Báez DChambrone L




Antibiotic prophylaxis (AP) is used routinely in high-risk groups of patients to reduce bacteremia and the risk of developing infective endocarditis (IE). In this systematic review, the authors evaluated the efficacy of AP on the incidence, nature, magnitude, and duration of post-dental procedure bacteremia.


The authors conducted a systematic search of the literature using MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials up to and including May 2019. They included randomized clinical trials in which researchers compared antibiotics with a placebo or no treatment (as the control). They undertook random-effects meta-analyses to evaluate the incidence of bacteremia after dentalprocedures.


The authors included 12 studies in the review. The studies evaluated the incidence of bacteremia after AP with American Heart Association (AHA) protocol antibiotics (amoxicillin, clindamycin, cephalosporin, and azithromycin) or non-AHA protocol antibiotics (moxifloxacin and intravenous [IV] amoxicillin-clavulanic acid). The pooled analysis revealed that antibiotics significantly reduced the bacteremia incidence, but their effectiveness was moderate (risk ratio, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.38 to 0.67). IV amoxicillin-clavulanic acid promoted a considerable reduction in bacteremia. However, in patients with penicillin allergies, antibiotics (that is, clindamycin and cephalosporin) had lower efficacy.

Practical implications:

Oral amoxicillin is still the antibiotic of choice to reduce bacteremia. IV amoxicillin-clavulanic acid could be used for patients at high risk of developing IE who require invasive dental procedures, have high levels of dental infection, and are to be treated under general anesthesia. In patients with penicillin allergies, oral azithromycin showed a higher efficacy for the reduction of bacteremia and the use of clindamycin should be reviewed. Antibiotic premedication should be limited to patients at high risk of developing IE, according to the indications of the AHA guide.

Copyright © 2019 American Dental Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


J Am Dent Assoc. 2019 Sep 24. pii: S0002-8177(19)30442-8. doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2019.06.017. [Epub ahead of print].

DOI: 10.1016/j.adaj.2019.06.017


Amoxicillin; antibiotics; bacteremia; clindamycin; infective endocarditis; prophylaxis.

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