The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 12, 3030 - 3034.e1

Positive Blood Cultures Decrease the Treatment Success in Acute Hematogenous Periprosthetic Joint Infection Treated With Debridement, Antibiotics, and Implant Retention

Kuo, Feng-Chih et al.
Hip Knee


The influence of positive blood cultures on surgical outcome of acute hematogenous periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) treated by debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention (DAIR) remains unknown. This study evaluated the influence of positive blood cultures on the treatment success of DAIR in patients with acute hematogenous PJI.


A retrospective chart review on 49 patients with blood culture data for acute hematogenous PJI was performed from 2005 to 2016 at a single institution. All patients were treated by DAIR and had a minimum follow-up of 1 year. Treatment success was defined by the Delphi criteria. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify variables associated with positive blood culture and treatment success. Kaplan-Meier survivorship curves and log-rank tests were used for analysis.


Overall, 44.9% (22/49) of blood cultures obtained yielded positive growth. Elevated Elixhauser comorbidity index was a significant risk factor associated with positive blood (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-2.40; P = .049). A positive blood culture was the only significant factor predicting treatment failure in acute hematogenous PJI (OR, 3.94; 95% CI, 1.18-13.1; P = .026) after adjusting for confounding variables. Kaplan-Meier survivorship for infection-free implant survivorship was 53.1% (95% CI, 38.3%-65.8%) at 1 year for all patients, 66.7% (95% CI, 45.7%-81.1%) for patients with negative blood cultures, and 36.4% (95% CI, 17.2%-55.7%) for patients with positive blood cultures ( P = .037).


The presence of positive blood cultures is associated with decreased treatment success of DAIR for acute hematogenous PJI. Patients with more comorbidities may need to be treated more aggressively for a favorable outcome.

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