The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 1, 229 - 234

Combined Measurement of D-Dimer and C-Reactive Protein Levels: Highly Accurate for Diagnosing Chronic Periprosthetic Joint Infection

Qin, Leilei et al.
Hip Knee


Diagnosis of chronic periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) can be challenging and elusive in the absence of a gold standard. D-dimer plays an important role in inflammation that occurs during infections and therefore could be a valuable biomarker for PJI. This study aims to investigate the sensitivity and specificity of D-dimer in detecting chronic PJI and to improve the accuracy of chronic PJI diagnosis through combined measurement of serum D-dimer with C-reactive protein (CRP)/erythrocyte sedimentation rate.


One hundred twenty-two patients presenting with a painful knee or hip after total hip or total knee arthroplasty for surgical revision were included in this prospective trial. Our cohort consisted of 55 patients undergoing revision for chronic PJI and 67 patients undergoing revision for aseptic failure. PJI was defined using the Musculoskeletal Infection Society criteria. Receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve were analyzed for each biomarker.


The area under the curve for D-dimer was 0.915 and was more accurate than serum erythrocyte sedimentation rate 0.719 and CRP 0.761. 1170 ng/mL was determined to be the optimal threshold value of D-dimer for the diagnosis of chronic PJI, with a sensitivity of 92.73% and a specificity of 74.63% in the diagnosis of chronic PJI. The combination of D-dimer and CRP tests demonstrated a sensitivity of 98.11% and negative predictive value of 96.55% for the diagnosis of chronic PJI.


The present study identified the D-dimer is a valuable biomarker in detecting chronic PJI. The combinations of serum D-dimer and CRP led to the improvement of sensitivity compared with those of the single-index test.

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