Early diagnosis of septic arthritis in immunocompromised patients

Bennet A. Butler, David W. Fitz, Cort D. Lawton, Daniel D. Li*, Earvin S. Balderama, Michael D. Stover

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Septic arthritis results in rapid joint destruction if not properly diagnosed and treated. A work up for septic arthritis includes a peripheral white blood cell count, inflammatory markers, and a joint aspiration. In the general population, the interpretation of these labs has been well-defined by prior studies. To this point, no study has determined how immunosuppressive states affect this work up. Methods: Patients with immunosuppressive conditions who received a joint aspiration for a painful joint were retrospectively identified. Laboratory results from their work up were gathered and analyzed. Results: 216 patients were included in the study, 21 of whom were diagnosed with septic arthritis. The average aspiration WBC count was 74,190 with 88% PMNs. 81% had a positive gram stain. Discussion: Laboratory values for immunosuppressed patients with septic arthritis were similar to those associated with septic arthritis in historical general population controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-545
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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