Quality improvement initiative to reduce variability and improve stewardship of antimicrobial prophylaxis for transrectal prostate needle biopsy

  • Pedro Recabal
  • Taehyoung LeeEmail author
  • Emily Vertosick
  • Michael Manasia
  • James Eastham
  • Karim Touijer
  • Susan K. Seo
  • Massimiliano Spaliviero
  • Behfar Ehdaie
Original Article



To assess the impact of implementing the recommendations included in the 2014 American Urological Association (AUA) white paper on complications of transrectal prostate needle biopsy (PNB).


In the outpatient setting of a single tertiary-care institution, prophylactic antibiotic use and rate of infectious complications were compared before and after implementation by nursing of a standardized algorithm to select antibiotic prophylaxis (derived from the recommendations of the AUA white paper). The 584 patients in cohort A (January 2011–January 2012) received antimicrobial prophylaxis at the discretion of the treating physician; 654 patients in cohort B (January 2014–January 2015) received standardized risk-adapted antibiotic prophylaxis. Data on antibiotics administered and infectious complications were analyzed.


Fluoroquinolone was the most common prophylactic regimen in both cohorts. In cohort A, 73% of men received a single-drug regimen, although 19 different regimens were utilized with duration of 72 h. In cohort B, 97% received 1 of 4 standardized single-drug antibiotic regimens for duration of 24 h. Infectious complications occurred in 19 men (3.3%) in cohort A, and in 18 men (2.8%) in cohort B (difference − 0.5%; one-sided 95% CI 1.1%). No clinically relevant increase in infectious complication rates was found after implementing this quality improvement initiative.


Use of a standardized risk-adapted approach to select antibiotic prophylaxis for PNB by nursing staff reduced the duration of antimicrobial prophylaxis and number of antibiotic regimens used, without increasing the rate of infectious complications. Our findings validate the current AUA recommendations for antibiotic prophylaxis.


Prostatic neoplasm Biopsy Infection Prophylaxis Treatment outcome Stewardship 


Author contributions

PR: Protocol/Project Development, Data Collection or Management, Manuscript Writing/Editing; TL: Data Collection or Management, Data Analysis, Manuscript Writing/Editing; EV: Data Collection or Management, Data Analysis, Manuscript Writing/Editing; MM: Data Collection or Management; JE: Protocol/Project Development; KT: Protocol/Project Development; SKS: Protocol/Project Development; MS: Protocol/Project Development; BE: Protocol/Project Development, Manuscript Writing/Editing.


This research was supported by funds from the Sidney Kimmel Center for Prostate and Urologic Diseases and NIH Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA008748.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

345_2019_2845_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (77 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 76 kb)
345_2019_2845_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (30 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 30 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fundacion Arturo Lopez PerezSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Stony Brook MedicineStony BrookUSA

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