The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 5, 1361 - 1367

Plasma Fibrinogen and Platelet Count Are Referable Tools for Diagnosing Periprosthetic Joint Infection: A Single-Center Retrospective Cohort Study

Xu, Hong et al.
Hip Knee


Although the MusculoSkeletal Infection Society has suggested a series of markers to diagnose periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), no single marker can accurately identify infection before revision hip or knee arthroplasty, and exploring promising markers to easily and reliably diagnose PJI is ongoing. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of plasma fibrinogen and platelet count for diagnosing PJI.


We retrospectively included 439 patients who underwent revision arthroplasty from January 2008 to December 2018; 79 patients with coagulation-related comorbidities were evaluated separately. The remaining 360 patients constituted 153 PJI and 207 non-PJI patients. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to evaluate the maximum sensitivity and specificity of the tested markers.


The receiver operating characteristic curves showed that the areas under the curve for plasma fibrinogen, platelet count, and serum C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate were 0.834, 0.746, 0.887, and 0.842, respectively. Based on Youden’s index, the optimal predictive cutoffs for fibrinogen and platelet count were 3.57 g/L and 221 × 10 9/L, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity, respectively, were 68.6% and 86.0% (fibrinogen) and 57.5% and 83.1% (platelet count) for diagnosing PJI. The sensitivity and specificity, respectively, were 76.7% and 72.2% (fibrinogen) and 48.8% and 63.9% (platelet count) for diagnosing PJI in patients with coagulation-related comorbidities.


Plasma fibrinogen performed well for diagnosing PJI before revision arthroplasty, and its value neared that of traditional inflammatory markers. Although the diagnostic value of the platelet count was inferior to traditional markers, its diagnostic value was fair for diagnosing PJI. Fibrinogen also may be useful for diagnosing PJI in patients with coagulation-related comorbidities.

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