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Ann Surg. 2013 Sep;258(3):385-93. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3182a1599b.

Acute cholecystitis: early versus delayed cholecystectomy, a multicenter randomized trial (ACDC study, NCT00447304).

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Departments of *Surgery and †Internal Medicine IV, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany ‡Department of Surgery, Katharinen Hospital, Stuttgart, Germany; §Department of Surgery, St. Marien Hospital Muelheim, Muelheim ¶Department of Surgery, Bietigheim Hospital, Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany ‖Department of Surgery, Ketteler Hospital, Offenbach, Germany; Departments of **Surgery I and ††Internal Medicine II, Diakonie Hospital, Schwaebisch Hall, Germany ‡‡Department of Surgery, Rostock University Hospital, Germany §§Department of Internal Medicine, Katharinen Hospital, Stuttgart, Germany; Departments of ¶¶Surgery and ‖‖Gastroenterology, Magdeburg Hospital, Magdeburg, Germany ***Department of Surgery, Bad Cannstatt Hospital, Stuttgart, Germany †††Karlsruhe Hospital, Karlsruhe, Germany; Department of ‡‡‡Internal Medicine, Salem Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany §§§Research and Public Relations, Burscheid, Germany ¶¶¶Department of Surgery, Salem Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.



Acute cholecystitis is a common disease, and laparoscopic surgery is the standard of care.


Optimal timing of surgery for acute cholecystitis remains controversial: either early surgery shortly after hospital admission or delayed elective surgery after a conservative treatment with antibiotics.


The ACDC ("Acute Cholecystitis-early laparoscopic surgery versus antibiotic therapy and Delayed elective Cholecystectomy") study is a randomized, prospective, open-label, parallel group trial. Patients were randomly assigned to receive immediate surgery within 24 hours of hospital admission (group ILC) or initial antibiotic treatment, followed by delayed laparoscopic cholecystectomy at days 7 to 45 (group DLC). For infection, all patients were treated with moxifloxacin for at least 48 hours. Primary endpoint was occurrence of predefined relevant morbidity within 75 days. Secondary endpoints were as follows: (1) 75-day morbidity using a scoring system; (2) conversion rate; (3) change of antibiotic therapy; (4) mortality; (5) costs; and (6) length of hospital stay.


Morbidity rate was significantly lower in group ILC (304 patients) than in group DLC (314 patients): 11.8% versus 34.4%. Conversion rate to open surgery and mortality did not differ significantly between groups. Mean length of hospital stay (5.4 days vs 10.0 days; P < 0.001) and total hospital costs (€2919 vs €4262; P < 0.001) were significantly lower in group ILC.


In this large, randomized trial, laparoscopic cholecystectomy within 24 hours of hospital admission was shown to be superior to the conservative approach concerning morbidity and costs. Therefore, we believe that immediate laparoscopic cholecystectomy should become therapy of choice for acute cholecystitis in operable patients. (NCT00447304).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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