What Is the Most Reliable Concordance Rate of Preoperative Synovial Fluid Aspiration and Intraoperative Biopsy to Detect Periprosthetic Joint Infection in Knee, Hip and Shoulder Arthroplasty?

The accuracy of preoperative synovial fluid microbe detection in periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) is widely reported. However, the reliability of this diagnostic modality amongst the different joints is not yet described. We aimed to compare the concordance rate between preoperative synovial fluid and intraoperative tissue cultures in shoulder, knee and hip PJIs. A total of 150 patients who met the 2018 International Consensus Meeting criteria for shoulder, hip and knee PJI were retrospectively reviewed. This cohort was divided into three groups based on the involved joint (should, hip or knee), with 50 patients in each group. Cultures were collected and held for culture for 14 days. The overall concordance rate was 56.7%. Concordance rates between preoperative and intraoperative cultures were 60%, 56% and 54% for the knee, shoulder and hip joints, respectively. The analysis of high- or low-virulence and difficult- or not-difficult-to-treat germs did not reveal any significant differences between preoperative and intraoperative cultures in any of the groups. However, even considering the higher concordance in knee PJI, the overall discordance between preoperative and intraoperative cultures should prompt surgeons not to rely solely on preoperative synovial fluid culture data in determining appropriate treatment and antibiotics.


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