Characteristics and outcomes of culture-negative prosthetic joint infections from the Prosthetic Joint Infection in Australia and New Zealand Observational (PIANO) cohort study

Sarah Browning, Laurens Manning, Sarah Metcalf, David L. Paterson, James O. Robinson, Benjamin Clark, Joshua S. Davis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Introduction: Culture-negative (CN) prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) account for approximately 10% of all PJIs and present significant challenges for clinicians.We aimed to explore the significance of CN PJIs within a large prospective cohort study, comparing their characteristics and outcomes with culture-positive (CP) cases. Methods: The Prosthetic joint Infection in Australia and New Zealand Observational (PIANO) study is a prospective, multicentre observational cohort study that was conducted at 27 hospitals between 2014 and 2017. We compared baseline characteristics and outcomes of all patients with CN PJI from the PIANO cohort with those of CP cases. We report on PJI diagnostic criteria in the CN cohort and apply internationally recognized PJI diagnostic guidelines to determine optimal CN PJI detection methods. Results: Of the 650 patients with 24-month outcome data available, 55 (8.5 %) were CN and 595 were CP. Compared with the CP cohort, CN patients were more likely to be female (32 (58.2 %) vs. 245 (41.2 %); p D0.016), involve the shoulder joint (5 (9.1 %) vs. 16 (2.7 %); p =0.026), and have a lower mean C-reactive protein (142 mg L-1 vs. 187 mg L-1; p =0.016). Overall, outcomes were superior in CN patients, with culture negativity an independent predictor of treatment success at 24 months (adjusted odds ratio, aOR, of 3.78 and 95%CI of 1.65-8.67). Suboptimal diagnostic sampling was common in both cohorts, with CN PJI case detection enhanced using the Infectious Diseases Society of America PJI diagnostic guidelines. Conclusions: Current PJI diagnostic guidelines vary substantially in their ability to detect CN PJI, with comprehensive diagnostic sampling necessary to achieve diagnostic certainty. Definitive surgical management strategies should be determined by careful assessment of infection type, rather than by culture status alone.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)203-211
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Infection
    Volume7
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2022

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