Poor Outcomes of Irrigation and Debridement in Acute Periprosthetic Joint Infection With Antibiotic-Impregnated Calcium Sulfate Beads.

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BACKGROUND: One proposed strategy to increase the success of irrigation and debridement with implant retention for the treatment of acute periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) is the use of dissolvable antibiotic-impregnated calcium sulfate beads to provide a local depot of antibiotics. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of such an approach.

METHODS: Thirty-two patients with acute hematogenous (18 patients; 1 bilateral) or acute postoperative (14 patients) PJIs who underwent irrigation and debridement with implant retention and addition of antibiotic-impregnated calcium sulfate beads were retrospectively reviewed. PJI followed 27 total knee arthroplasties and 6 total hip arthroplasties. The most common infecting organisms were methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (13 of 33) and Streptococcus (9 of 33). The primary outcome parameter was recurrence of infection according to the Musculoskeletal Infection Society criteria. Patients were followed up for a minimum of 3 months or until failure.

RESULTS: At a mean of 12.7 months (range, 3-30 months), 16 of the 33 patients failed (48%). Acute hematogenous and acute postoperative PJI had similar failure rates at 47% and 50%, respectively (P = .88). Seven failures required a 2-stage exchange, while 8 patients were treated with chronic antibiotic suppression, being unwilling or unable to undergo further surgical intervention.

CONCLUSION: The addition of antibiotic-impregnated calcium sulfate beads does not appear to improve outcomes of irrigation and debridement with implant retention in the setting of acute hematogenous or acute postoperative PJI. Given the short follow-up in this report, this represents a best-case scenario and the overall failure rate may be higher with further follow-up.





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