Are All Periprosthetic Joint Infections the Same? Evaluating Major vs Minor Criteria

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BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) can be made when 1 major criterion or 3 of 5 minor criteria are present. However, the outcomes of patients with a major vs minor criteria for diagnosis have not been studied. The objective of this study was to evaluate if a difference in outcome of surgical intervention existed between patients with PJI who were diagnosed with a major criterion or a combination of minor criteria.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review identified 277 primary total hip or knee arthroplasty patients who had developed PJI based on the International Consensus Meeting definition. Patients were further stratified into "major" vs "minor" groups. Patient demographics, PJI workup, surgical treatment, microbiological growth, and clinical outcomes were recorded. Treatment success was defined by using the Delphi criteria. Standard statistical analysis was performed.

RESULTS: Overall, 34 patients met minor-only criteria (12.2%), whereas 243 met major criteria. Of the minor-only patients, 16 (47%) were culture negative. When controlling for confounding variables, there was no statistically significant difference with regard to treatment success (minor 94.1% vs major 82.3%, P = .085) between groups at final follow-up (mean 110 months, range 2.3-567 months). Only higher Charlson comorbidity index (P = .001) and an initial 2-stage surgical procedure (P = .003) were associated with decreased treatment success.

CONCLUSION: PJI patients were similar between both criteria groups, and there was no difference in treatment success as defined by the Delphi criteria between minor-only PJI and major criteria PJI patients.


This article was published in The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 33, Issue 5, pages 1515-1519.

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Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc.

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Journal of Arthroplasty

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