Original Investigation

The evaluation of risk factors for failed response to conservative treatment in tubo-ovarian abscesses


  • Mehmet Özgür Akkurt
  • Serenat Eris Yalçın
  • İltaç Akkurt
  • Burak Tatar
  • And Yavuz
  • Yakup Yalçın
  • Mehmet Akif Akgül
  • Fulya Kayıkçıoğlu

Received Date: 01.07.2015 Accepted Date: 06.08.2015 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2015;16(4):226-230 PMID: 26692773


The aim of our study is to assess the risk factors for medical treatment failure and to predict the patients who will require the surgical therapy as well as to predict the factors affecting treatment success.

Material and Methods:

This was a cross-sectional study including 76 women with tubo-ovarian abscesses (TOA) who were either conservatively or surgically treated and were admitted to two gynecology units over a 4-year period. The demographic characteristics of the patients, gynecologic and obstetric histories, size and localization of abscesses were recorded. Gentamicin plus clindamycin treatment protocol was implemented for all patients. Ampicillin treatment was added in three patients with the positive culture of Actinomyces. Response to treatment was evaluated after 48–72 h. Patients who fail to respond to medical treatment required surgery or percutaneous drainage. We compared clinical and laboratory factors between the groups.


In surgery group, patients were significantly older than the others (44.9±5.4 versus 39.1±7.6 years). Fifty-six patients (74%) responded to antibiotics and 20 of the patients required surgical intervention. Patients treated with antibiotics were hospitalized for an average of 6.32±2.8 days versus 12.75±5.6 days for those who required surgery (p=0.021). Patients who were surgically treated had a mean size of TOA of 67.9±11.2 mm versus 53.6±9.4 mm for those treated with antibiotics alone (p=0.036). There were no significant differences between groups in laboratory parameters, except for initial white blood cell (WBC) counts. The complications of surgery included in descending order of frequency blood transfusions, surgical wound infections, bowel injury, and bladder injury.


An increased size of pelvic mass, higher initial WBC counts, advanced age, and smoking were all associated with failed response to conservative treatment. It is important to identify the risk factors to distinguish patients who will respond to antibiotic therapy and those who will need a surgical treatment. Thus, the required early intervention can result in a reduction in the morbidity associated with TOA.

Keywords: Antibiotic therapy, pelvic abscess, surgery, tubo-ovarian abscesses