The role of sonication in the diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infection after total knee arthroplasty



Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Madrid, Spain


Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a serious complication. Culturing of samples of periprosthetic tissue is the standard method used for the microbiological diagnosis of PJI. However, this method is neither sensitive nor specific since in PJI the microorganisms are usually in a biofilm on the surface of the prosthesis. The purpose of this article is to know the role of sonication in the diagnosis of PJI after TKA. Sonication consists in taking samples of bacteria from biofilms adhered to the prosthetic surface. The reported sensitivity for the diagnosis of PJI of the periprosthetic tissue cultures and sonicate fluid cultures os 54% and 75%, respectively. The specificity is 98% and 87%, respectively. In conclusion, the sonication method represents a reliable test for the diagnosis of PJI after TKA with a greater sensitivity and specificity than the conventional periprosthetic tissue cultures. Sonication of polyethylene liners, rather than the whole prosthesis, has been reported to be sufficient for diagnosis of prosthetic joint infection.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 25 November 2021
  • Receive Date: 14 November 2019
  • Revise Date: 11 October 2020
  • Accept Date: 14 November 2020
  • First Publish Date: 25 November 2021