Table 1

Characteristics of included randomised controlled trials

Author (year)No. of sitesNo. of patients randomisedStudy settingAgeMale patients (no., %)MSSA (no., %)MRSA (no., %)Surgical treatmentInterventionAntibiotics dose and usageDurationFollow-up
RCTs comparing antibiotics vs placebo or standard care
Daum 20179 6786Emergency department>6 months140 (52.6)140 (17.8)*388 (49.4)*Incision and drainageClindamycin300 mg, three time a day†10 d40 d
152 (57.8)TMP-SMX160 mg/800 mg, twice daily†10 d
156 (60.7)Placebo10 d
Duong 201024 1161Emergency department3 months to 18 years28 (38.4)7 (9.6)58 (79.4)Incision and drainingTMP-SMX10–12 mg/kg/day, divided into two dose10 d90 d
34 (44.7)6 (7.8)61 (80.2)Placebo10 d
Llera 198525 181Emergency department>16 years18 (66.7)NRNRIncision and drainageCephradine250 mg, four times a day7 d7 d
9 (39.1)Placebo7 d
Macfie 1977a28 1121Emergency departmentNRNRNRNRIncision, curettage and primary sutureClindamycin150 mg every 6 hours4 d9 d‡
NRNRNRUsual care
Macfie 1977b28 198Emergency departmentNRNRNRNRIncision and open drainageClindamycin150 mg every 6 hours4 d9 d‡
NRNRNRUsual care
Rajendran 200727 1166Integrated Soft Tissue Infection Services clinicNR59 (72.0)NR87 (87.8) *§Surgically drainedCephalexin500 mg, four times a day7 d7 d
68 (81.0)NRPlacebo7 d
Schmitz 201026 4212Emergency department>16 years68 (0.7)NR50 (60.0)Incision and drainageTMP-SMX320 mg/1600 mg, twice daily7 d30 d
72 (0.6)47 (47.0)Placebo7 d
Talan 201610 51265Emergency department>12 years364 (57.8)100 (15.9)274 (43.5)Incision and drainageTMP-SMX160 mg/800 mg, twice daily14 d63 d
362 (58.7)102 (16.5)291 (47.2)Placebo14 d
RCTs comparing alternative antibiotics¶
Bucko 2002a29 63143NR>12 years153 (52.6)**NRNRNRCefditoren 200 mg200 mg,twice daily10 d24 d
141 (49.8)**Cefditoren 400 mg400 mg, twice daily10 d
133 (47.0)**Cefuroxime 250 mg250 mg, twice daily10 d
Bucko 2002b29 69104NR>12 years140 (50.3)**NRNRNRCefditoren 200 mg200 mg,twice daily10 d24 d
144 (52.0)**Cefditoren 400 mg400 mg, twice daily10 d
144 (52.7)**Cefadroxil 250 mg250 mg, twice daily10 d
Giordano 200630 39102Emergency department>13 years102 (53.0)**NRNRIncision and drainageCefdinir300 mg, twice daily10 d24 d
104 (52.0)**Cephalexin250 mg, four times a day10 d
Keiichi 198233 1546Dermatology departmentNo restriction62 (72.1)**NRNRNRCefadroxil250 mg, three times a day14 d14 d
57 (64.8)NRNRL-Cephalexin500 mg, twice daily14 d
Miller 201532 4242Emergency department>6 months135 (51.1)**14 (11.0)74 (58.3)Incision and drainageClindamycin300 mg, three times a day‡12 d40 d
139 (53.5)16 (13.9)72 (62.6)TMP-SMX320 mg/1600 mg, twice daily‡12 d
Montero 199631 414NR6 months to 2 years49 (49.0)**NRNRNRAzithromycin10 mg/kg, once a day3 d14 d
57 (57.0)NRNRCefaclor20 mg/kg/d, divided into three dose10 d
  • *Characteristics of patients in both antibiotics and placebo group.

  • †Dose for adult.

  • ‡Mean follow-up days.

  • §The denominator was patients with a positive culture.

  • ¶These trials included the patient subgroup of skin abscess, and data were collected from the specific patient subgroup.

  • **Data from trials involving patients with skin and soft tissue infection which did not report characteristics of patients with skin abscess.

  • d, days; MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; MSSA, methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus; NR, not reported; RCT, randomised controlled trials; TMP-SMX, trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole.