What are the differences in efficacy between outpatient and inpatient care of pyelonephritis during pregnancy?

Updated: Aug 17, 2021
  • Author: Raisa O Platte, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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In a randomized, controlled trial of outpatient treatment of pyelonephritis in pregnancy, Millar et al concluded that outpatient therapy is as safe and effective as inpatient care in the treatment of pyelonephritis before 24 weeks’ gestation. [30] However, the prevailing view is still that aggressive inpatient hydration and parenteral antibiotics are necessary. Pyelonephritis places the patient at risk for spontaneous abortion in early pregnancy and for preterm labor after 24 weeks’ gestation.

In their study, Millar et al treated outpatients with 2 doses of intramuscular (IM) ceftriaxone and 10 days of oral cephalexin. [30] Initial outpatient therapy and traditional inpatient therapy failed to cure equal numbers of patients. Benefits include the obvious cost savings and the psychosocial benefits for the patient. Risks include septic shock and respiratory insufficiency at home during outpatient therapy.

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