Orthopaedic implant infection is a rare but serious complication whose optimal treatment requires an accurate microbiological diagnosis. The objective of this study was to determine whether culturing sonicated explants improved sensitivity compared to culturing standard sonicated soft-tissue samples.
Cultures of explant sonication fluid are more sensitive than cultures of soft-tissue sonication fluid in patients with implant infection.
This single-centre retrospective study included all sonication fluid samples from implants explanted in orthopaedic surgery theatres for any reason. The microbiological results of the implant sonication fluid cultures were compared to those of cultures of sonicated soft-tissue and bone samples taken during the same procedure. The primary evaluation criterion was the difference in microorganisms recovered from explant sonication fluids versus fluid/tissue cultures.
The study included 187 explants removed between September 2009 and June 2015. Of the definite infections, 83% were identified by explant sonication, 86% by fluid/tissue cultures, and 91% by both techniques combined. Explant sonication recovered causative organisms in 10 patients with definite infection but negative fluid/soft tissue cultures. Antibiotic therapy prior to explantation was associated with lower sensitivity of explant sonication (57% vs. 67% for fluid/soft tissue cultures).
Explant sonication improved the diagnosis of infection when combined with fluid/soft tissue cultures.
Level of evidence
IV, retrospective single-centre study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Sonication, Prosthetic infection, Biofilm, Microbiological diagnosis, Implant