The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 5, 1032 - 1036.e2

Diagnosing Prosthetic Joint Infections in Patients With Inflammatory Arthritis: A Systematic Literature Review

Mirza, Serene Z. et al.
Hip Knee


Patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) are at increased risk of prosthetic joint infections (PJI), yet differentiating between septic and aseptic failure is a challenge. The aim of our systematic review is to evaluate synovial biomarkers and their efficacy at diagnosing PJI in patients with IA.


A comprehensive literature search was performed in the following databases from inception to January 2018: Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. Searches across the databases retrieved 367 results. Two of 5 reviewers independently screened a total of 298 citations. Discrepancies were resolved by a third reviewer. Twenty articles fit our criteria, but due to methodological differences findings could not be pooled for meta-analysis. For 5 studies, raw data were provided, pooled, and used to derive optimal diagnostic cut points.


Our final analysis included 1861 non-IA patients, including 426 patients with PJI, and 90 IA patients of whom 26 had PJI. There was a significant difference among the 4 groups for serum C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and synovial CRP, polymorphonuclear neutrophil percent, white blood cells, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and IL-1b. Polymorphonuclear neutrophil percent had the highest sensitivity (95.2%) and specificity (85.0%) to detect infections with an optimum threshold of 78%.


While levels of synovial white blood cells, IL-6, IL-8, and serum CRP appear higher in patients with IA, there is overlap with those who are not infected. Further studies are needed to explore diagnostic tests that will better detect PJI in patients with IA.

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