Increased Mortality After Prosthetic Joint Infection in Primary THAGundtoft, Per, Hviid, MD, PhD1,2,3,a; Pedersen, Alma, Becic, MD, PhD, DMSc4; Varnum, Claus, MD, PhD5; Overgaard, Søren, MD, DMSc2,3
Background Revision for prosthetic joint infection (PJI) has a major effect on patients’ health but it remains unclear if early PJI after primary THA is associated with a high mortality.
Questions/Purposes (1) Do patients with a revision for PJI within 1 year of primary THA have increased mortality compared with patients who do not undergo revision for any reason within 1 year of primary THA? (2) Do patients who undergo a revision for PJI within 1 year of primary THA have an increased mortality risk compared with patients who undergo an aseptic revision? (3) Are there particular bacteria among patients with PJI that are associated with an increased risk of death?
Methods This population-based cohort study was based on the longitudinally maintained Danish Hip Arthroplasty Register on primary THA performed in Denmark from 2005 to 2014. Data from the Danish Hip Arthroplasty Register were linked to microbiology databases, the National Register of Patients, and the Civil Registration System to obtain data on microbiology, comorbidity, and vital status on all patients. Because reporting to the register is compulsory for all public and private hospitals in Denmark, the completeness of registration is 98% for primary THA and 92% for revisions (2016 annual report). The mortality risk for the patients who underwent revision for PJI within 1 year from implantation of primary THA was compared with (1) the mortality risk for patients who did not undergo revision for any reason within 1 year of primary THA; and (2) the mortality risk for patients who underwent an aseptic revision. A total of 68,504 primary THAs in 59,954 patients were identified, of those 445 primary THAs underwent revision for PJI, 1350 primary THAs underwent revision for other causes and the remaining 66,709 primary THAs did not undergo revision. Patients were followed from implantation of primary THA until death or 1 year of followup, or, in case of a revision, 1 year from the date of revision.
Results Within 1 year of primary THA, 8% (95% CI, 6%-11%) of patients who underwent revision for PJI died. The adjusted relative mortality risk for patients with revision for PJI was 2.18 (95% CI, 1.54-3.08) compared with the patients who did not undergo revision for any cause (p < 0.001). The adjusted relative mortality risk for patients with revisions for PJI compared with patients with aseptic revision was 1.87 (95% CI, 1.11-3.15; p = 0.019). Patients with enterococci-infected THA had a 3.10 (95% CI, 1.66-5.81) higher mortality risk than patients infected with other bacteria (p < 0.001).
Conclusions Revision for PJI within 1 year after primary THA induces an increased mortality risk during the first year after the revision surgery. This study should incentivize further studies on prevention of PJI and on risk to patients with the perspective to reduce mortality in patients who have had THA in general and for patients with PJI specifically.
Level of Evidence Level III, therapeutic study.