Martin McNally, Ricardo Sousa, Marjan Wouthuyzen-Bakker, Antonia F. Chen, Alex Soriano, H. Charles Vogely, Martin Clauss, Carlos A. Higuera, Rihard Trebše

The EBJIS definition of periprosthetic joint infection

The Bone & Joint Journal Vol. 103-B, No. 1
Ankle Elbow Hip Knee Shoulder Wrist


The diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) can be difficult. All current diagnostic tests have problems with accuracy and interpretation of results. Many new tests have been proposed, but there is no consensus on the place of many of these in the diagnostic pathway. Previous attempts to develop a definition of PJI have not been universally accepted and there remains no reference standard definition.


This paper reports the outcome of a project developed by the European Bone and Joint Infection Society (EBJIS), and supported by the Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS) and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Study Group for Implant-Associated Infections (ESGIAI). It comprised a comprehensive review of the literature, open discussion with Society members and conference delegates, and an expert panel assessment of the results to produce the final guidance.


This process evolved a three-level approach to the diagnostic continuum, resulting in a definition set and guidance, which has been fully endorsed by EBJIS, MSIS, and ESGIAI.


The definition presents a novel three-level approach to diagnosis, based on the most robust evidence, which will be useful to clinicians in daily practice.


Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(1):18–25.

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