Conventional Diagnostic Challenges in Periprosthetic Joint Infection

Scott R. Nodzo, Thomas Bauer, Paul S. Pottinger, Grant E. Garrigues, Hany Bedair, Carl A. Deirmengian, John Segreti, Kevin J. Blount, Imran M. Omar, Javad Parvizi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Periprosthetic joint infection remains a clinical challenge with no benchmark for diagnosis. The diagnosis is based on many different clinical variables that may be difficult to interpret, especially in the setting of chronic systemic disease. Synovial fluid aspiration, diagnostic imaging, traditional culture, peripheral serum inflammatory markers, and intraoperative frozen sections each have their limitations but continue to be the mainstay for diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infection. As molecular-and biomarker-based technologies improve, the way we interpret and diagnose periprosthetic joint infection will ultimately change and may even improve diagnostic accuracy and turnaround time. Future research on this topic should be focused on improving diagnostic criteria for low-virulence organisms, improving interpretation of intraoperative frozen sections, and establishing improved synovial fluid and peripheral serum biomarker profiles for periprosthetic joint infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S18-S25
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
StatePublished - Apr 22 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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