Last updated on August 2019

Investigation of Rifampin to Reduce Pedal Amputations for Osteomyelitis in Diabetics


Brief description of study

The purpose of this research study is to determine if rifampin, an antibiotic (a medicine that treats infections), is effective in treating osteomyelitis (infection of the bone) of the foot in diabetic patients. Despite use of powerful antibiotics prescribed over a long period of time, many diabetic patients remain at a high risk for needing an amputation of part of the foot or lower leg because the osteomyelitis is not cured. Some small research studies have shown that addition of rifampin to other antibiotics is effective in treating osteomyelitis in both diabetics and non-diabetics. However, because few diabetics with osteomyelitis have been studied, there is no definite proof that it is better than the usual treatments for diabetic patients. If this study finds that adding rifampin to the usual antibiotics prescribed for osteomyelitis reduces the risk for amputations, doctors will be able to more effectively treat many Veteran patients with this serious infection. Improving treatment outcomes is an important healthcare goal of the VA.

Detailed Study Description

This is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, investigation of a six week course of adjunctive rifampin vs. adjunctive matched placebo (riboflavin) added to backbone antibacterial therapy for the treatment of diabetic foot osteomyelitis. Backbone antibacterial therapy will be with single or multiple agents selected by the clinical treatment team based either on culture results or standard empiric therapy, and which can be administered either intravenously or orally. Rifampin will be dosed at 600 mg daily. The primary outcome measure is amputation-free survival. Amputation events include both belowand above-ankle amputations. Primary outcomes will be determined by systematic medical record review and through confirmatory research visits, phone calls and, as needed, information from non-VA providers. The results for amputation-free survival will be analyzed by means of a two-sided log-rank test. The secondary outcomes of complete wound epithelialization and remission of osteomyelitis will be determined by direct examination by the site investigators.

The study will initially enroll and randomize a total of 880 study participants to receive either rifampin or placebo (riboflavin) in addition to backbone antibiotic therapy prescribed by their clinician. Investigators expect to enroll, on average, close to one subject per month per site (10-12 per year/site) at 28 VA medical centers to achieve total randomization of 880 subjects over three years. In meeting this average site enrollment projection, Investigators anticipate variation in enrollment between larger and smaller sites, and between high-performing and low-performing sites. Subjects will be followed through the end of the second year after randomization or until a study primary endpoint event (amputation or death) occurs. On average, study participants will be followed for 1.8 years through systematic review of medical records, and by study visits and phone calls.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03012529

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