The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 5, 1025 - 1031

Positive Culture During Reimplantation Increases the Risk of Reinfection in Two-Stage Exchange Arthroplasty Despite Administrating Prolonged Antibiotics: A Retrospective Cohort Study and Meta-Analysis

Xu, Chi et al.


The significance of a positive culture at reimplantation remains an important topic of consideration given the lack of clear metrics for when reimplantation can be performed. The purpose of this study is thus to investigate the (1) association between a positive culture during reimplantation and failure following 2-stage exchange arthroplasty and the (2) influence of prolonged antibiotics on these patients.


We retrospectively reviewed 117 patients undergoing 2-stage exchange hip arthroplasty from 2012 to 2016. Of them, 23 had positive culture during reimplantation and were treated with 2 weeks of intravenous and 4 weeks of oral antibiotics following reimplantation. All patients had a minimum follow-up of 1 year. Logistic regression models were performed to identify association between positive culture and subsequent treatment failure. A meta-analysis was also performed to validate findings. A subgroup analysis was performed to explore whether 6-week antibiotics (oral, intravenous, or both) after reimplantation improved outcomes.


A total of 11 studies, which included 141 cases with a positive culture at reimplantation and 784 with negative cultures, were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled data showed a higher risk of failure in patients with a positive culture than those with a negative culture (41.1% vs 14.8%, odds ratio 4.58). The subgroup analysis revealed that 6 weeks of antibiotic administration following reimplantation decreased the odds of reinfection from 9.35 to 3.12. The findings in the retrospective cohort were consistent with those of the meta-analysis; the failure rate was significantly higher in patients with a positive culture than those with negative cultures (26.1% vs 6.4%, P < .001).


Six weeks of antibiotics appear to decrease the odds of reinfection after reimplantation. However, despite patients receiving 6 weeks of antibiotics after reimplantation, the risk of reinfection in patients with a positive culture at reimplantation is still more than 3 times higher than those with negative cultures. Further studies are needed to investigate optimal management for such patients.

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