Articles | Volume 5, issue 3
J. Bone Joint Infect., 5, 128–132, 2020
J. Bone Joint Infect., 5, 128–132, 2020

Original full-length article 24 Apr 2020

Original full-length article | 24 Apr 2020

Sonication Leads to Clinically Relevant Changes in Treatment of Periprosthetic Hip or Knee Joint Infection

Marrit Hoekstra1, Ewout S. Veltman1, Ruben F.R.H.A Nurmohamed1, Bruce van Dijk1, Rob J. Rentenaar2, H. Charles Vogely1, and Bart C.H. van1 Marrit Hoekstra et al.
  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 2Department of Clinical Microbiology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. Background: Diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) can be troublesome. Sonication can be a helpful tool in culturing bacteria that are difficult to detect with standard tissue cultures. Aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical importance of our standardized sonication protocol in detecting periprosthetic joint infection.

Materials and methods: All patients with revision surgery of a hip or knee prosthesis between 2011 and 2016 were retrospectively reviewed and divided in two groups: clinically suspected of infection or not suspected of infection. For both tissue culture and implant sonication, calculations of sensitivity and specificity were performed. Clinical relevance of sonication was evaluated by calculating in which percentage of patients' sonication influenced clinical treatment.

Results: 226 patients with revision of a total hip prosthesis (122 patients) or a total knee prosthesis (104 patients) were included. Sensitivity of perioperatively taken tissue cultures was 94.3% and specificity was 99.3%. For sonication sensitivity was 80.5% and specificity was 97.8%.

In the infection group eight patients (9%) with only one positive tissue culture and a positive sonication fluid culture with the same pathogen were found.

Interpretation: Although sensitivity and specificity of sonication was lower compared to tissue cultures, periprosthetic joint infection could only be established in 8 patients (9%) suspected of infection because of a positive result of the sonication fluid culture.

Sonication leads to clinically relevant changes in treatment and seems therefore to be a helpful diagnostic tool in clinical practice.