The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 27, Issue 3, 375 - 377

Blood Cultures for Assessment of Postoperative Fever in Arthroplasty Patients

Vijaysegaran, Praveen et al.
Hip Knee

Postoperative fever in arthroplasty patients is common. The value of diagnostic workup of fever in this instance is of questionable utility. Studies have shown that blood cultures in this scenario add little to clinical management, but sample sizes have been small and the use of blood cultures in this setting continues. This study aimed to examine the value of blood cultures in the assessment of postoperative fever in a large arthroplasty population. The medical records of 101 patients who had 141 blood culture sets taken during a 2-year period were retrospectively analyzed. Of the 141 blood culture sets, only 2 returned positive results. These were both thought to be as a result of skin contamination at the time of venipuncture. No infectious sequelae occurred in either patient. We conclude that blood cultures have no role to play in the assessment of the febrile, otherwise asymptomatic arthroplasty patient in the early postoperative period.

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