Background: Colorectal surgery is frequently complicated by surgical site infections (SSIs). The most important consequences of SSIs are prolonged hospitalization, an increased risk of surgical reintervention and an increase in mortality. Perioperative intravenously administered antibiotic prophylaxis is the standard of care to reduce the risk of SSIs. In the last few decades, preoperative orally administered antibiotics have been suggested as additional prophylaxis to further reduce the risk of infection, but are currently not part of routine practice in most hospitals. The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of a preoperative orally administered antibiotic prophylaxis (Pre-OP) in addition to intravenously administered perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis to reduce the incidence of deep SSIs and/or mortality after elective colorectal surgery. Methods/design: The PreCaution trial is designed as a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial that will be carried out in The Netherlands. Adult patients who are scheduled for elective colorectal surgery are eligible to participate. In total, 966 patients will be randomized to receive the study medication. This will either be Pre-OP, a solution that consists of tobramycin and colistin sulphate, or a placebo solution. The study medication will be administered four times daily during the 3 days prior to surgery. Perioperative intravenously administered antibiotic prophylaxis will be administered to all patients in accordance with national infection control guidelines. The primary endpoint of the study is the cumulative incidence of deep SSIs and/or mortality within 30 days after surgery. Secondary endpoints include both infectious and non-infectious complications of colorectal surgery, and will be evaluated 30 days and/or 6 months after surgery. Discussion: To date, conclusive evidence on the added value of preoperative orally administered antibiotic prophylaxis in colorectal surgery is lacking. The PreCaution trial should determine the effects of orally administered antibiotics in preventing infectious complications in elective colorectal surgery. Trial registration: Netherlands Trial Register, ID: NTR6113. Registered on 11 October 2016; EudraCT 2015-005736-17.

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Keywords Colorectal surgery, Drug intervention trial, Infection control, Mortality, Placebo, Preoperative oral antibiotic prophylaxis, Randomized controlled trial, Surgical site infection
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Journal Trials
Mulder, T. (Tessa), Kluytmans-Vandenbergh, M.F.Q, de Smet, A.M.G.A. (Anne Marie G.A.), van 't Veer, N.E, Roos, D. (Daphne), Nikolakopoulos, S. (Stavros), … van Etten, B. (2018). Prevention of severe infectious complications after colorectal surgery using preoperative orally administered antibiotic prophylaxis (PreCaution): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 19(1). doi:10.1186/s13063-018-2439-4