Hydrogel Coating versus Calcium Sulphate Beads as a Local Antibiotic Carrier for Debridement Procedures in Acute Periprosthetic Joint Infection: A Preliminary Study.

Gels (Basel, Switzerland)(2023)

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Periprosthetic joint infections (PJI) are among the most difficult complications to treat in orthopaedic surgery. Debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention (DAIR) represent an efficient strategy for acute PJI, especially when resorbable local antibiotic carriers and coatings are used. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the difference between using antibiotic-loaded hydrogel (ALH) and calcium sulphate (CS) beads in the DAIR procedure. We analysed 16 patients who had been treated since 2018 for acute PJI, namely eight patients with knee PJI (50%), seven with hip PJI (43.7%), and one with shoulder PJI (6.2%). Nine patients were treated with the Debridement, Antibiotic Coating and Retention of the Implant (DACRI) method, while seven were treated with the Debridement, Antibiotic Pearls, Retention of the Implant (DAPRI) method. We found no significant differences between the two groups in terms of age, sex, the American Society of Anesthesiologists risk score, Charlson Comorbidity Index, localisation, days from onset to diagnosis and pathogenesis. Furthermore, no differences were found between the DACRI and DAPRI groups in terms of infection control (15 patients, 93.75% with = 0.36) and last C-Reactive Protein values ( = 0.26), with a mean follow-up of 26.1 ± 7.7 months. Treatment for one patient affected by knee Candida albicans PJI in the DACRI group was not successful. In conclusion, DAPRI and DACRI appear to be safe and effective treatments for PJIs. This evidence will encourage the development of new clinical research into local carriers and coatings for use in acute implant-associated infections.
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