Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: December 2013 - Volume 471 - Issue 12 - p 3822–3829 doi: 10.1007/s11999-013-2868-z Symposium: 2012 International Hip Society Proceedings

Are Antibiotics Necessary in Hip Arthroplasty With Asymptomatic Bacteriuria? Seeding Risk With/Without Treatment

Cordero-Ampuero, José, MD, PhD1, a; González-Fernández, Enrique, MD2; Martínez-Vélez, David, MD2; Esteban, Jaime, MD, PhD3

Background In patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria undergoing hip arthroplasty, the risk of prosthetic joint infection (PJI) and appropriateness of specific antibiotics are unclear.


Questions/purposes We determined (1) the prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria; and (2) the incidence of PJI in patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria managed with or without specific antibiotics.


Methods We conducted a prospective, randomized study of all 471 patients without urinary symptoms receiving a total hip arthroplasty (THA; n = 228; average age 68 years; 122 female) or hemiarthroplasty (HA; n = 243; average age 85 years; 170 female) between April 2009 and November 2010. No patients were catheterized in the perioperative period and all received intravenous cefazolin (allergy, vancomycin) for 48 hours postoperatively. Urinalysis was conducted on all patients; if abnormal, a urine culture was performed. Patients with bacteriuria (> 100,000 colonies/mL cultured) were randomly assigned to receive specific antibiotics (Group A) or not (Group B). Minimum followup was 1 month including those six who died or were lost to followup (average, 10.4 months; range, 1-12 months).


Results Asymptomatic bacteriuria occurred in eight of 228 patients undergoing THAs (three of eight with specific antibiotics) and 38 of 243 patients undergoing HAs (23 of 38 with specific antibiotics). Arthroplasty infection after 3 months occurred in one of 228 patients undergoing THAs and 12 of 243 patients undergoing HAs (six of 117 in Group A and six of 126 in Group B); bacteria cultured from the wound were dissimilar to those cultured in urine samples in any case. No patient presented signs of PJI by 1 year after the index surgery.


Conclusions We identified no case of PJI from urinary origin in patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria whether or not they had been treated with specific antibiotics.


Level of Evidence Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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