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Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2009 Mar;38(3):212-6.

Intramuscular gentamicin improves the efficacy of ciprofloxacin as an antibiotic prophylaxis for transrectal prostate biopsy.

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Department of Urology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.



Infection-related complications after transrectal ultrasound guided prostatic biopsy (TRPB) could be life threatening. Our centre observed sepsis after TRPB despite prophylactic oral ciprofloxacin. We reviewed all cases of post-TRPB sepsis with their bacteriology and evaluated if the addition of intramuscular (I/M) gentamicin to standard prophylaxis before TRPB could reduce its incidence.


In a single urological centre, we performed an interventional study that compared a prospective group with retrospective control. The latter is known as the "cipro-only" group included consecutive patients who underwent TRPB between 1 September 2003 and 31 August 2004. The addition of I/M gentamicin 80 mg half an hour before TRPB started on 1 September 2004. All subsequent patients who underwent TRPB until 31 August 2005 were included in the "cipro+genta" group. Patients who did not receive the studied antibiotics were excluded.


There were 374 patients in the "cipro+genta" group and 367 patients in the "cipro-only" group with comparable profiles. There were 12 cases of post-TRPB sepsis in the "cipro-only" group and 5 cases in the "cipro+genta" group. Ciprofloxacin-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli) was the only pathogen isolated in both groups. In the "cipro-only" group, 9 patients had positive blood cultures and 8 were sensitive to gentamicin. In the "cipro+genta" group, the only positive E. coli was gentamicin-resistant. One patient in the "cipro+genta" group was admitted to the intensive care unit with septicaemia.


The addition of I/M gentamicin to oral ciprofloxacin is a safe and effective prophylactic antibiotic regime in reducing the incidence of post-TRPB sepsis.

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