Special Issues Involving Periprosthetic Infection in Immunodeficiency Patients

Eduard Tornero*, Josep Riba, Sebastian Garcia-Ramiro
Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Bone and Joint Infection Unit, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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© Tornero et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Bone and Joint Infection Unit. Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona. Barcelona, Spain; Tel: 00+34+932275400; Fax: 00+34+932279871; E-mail:


Chronic systemic illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease (CKD), liver cirrhosis, neoplasia, etc. have been clearly associated with high rates of SWI. However, the exact mechanisms underlying these observations are still under investigation.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing problem in our society. Many of these patients will require an arthroplasty and it appears that the prosthetic infection risk for these types of patients is much higher than in the normal population. The risk of complications due to infection seems to be lower in patients with kidney transplants than in patients undergoing haemodialysis. Both prophylaxis and treatment of infection in patients with CKD should be carried out with a strict monitoring of potentially nephrotoxic antibiotics.

The literature on the prognosis and risk of infection in patients with haematopoietic stem cell transplant is scarce and occasionally contradictory. The optimal time for the surgery should be determined by taking into account the immunological state of the patient and should be avoided, as much as possible, during the first year after the HSCT.

Child’s classification system is the most widely used method of stratifying the surgical risk for patients with cirrhosis; the infection appeared to be associated in a statistically significant way with advanced age and a Child B pre-operative classification.

The prevention of prosthetic joint infections in HIV-infected patients should not be significantly different from the prevention for any other patient. Those patients that receive adequate antiretroviral treatment and periodic laboratory control show infection rates and periprosthetic complications that are similar to those for patients not affected by HIV. Therefore, the patient’s level of immunodeficiency is the most important prognostic factor for prosthetic infection.

The particular immunological condition of these patients can lead to infections due to particular microorganisms that immunocompetent patients do not have to deal with. Of all possibilities, because of their frequency and difficulty to treat, infections caused by methicillin-resistant S. aureus and fungus are highlighted.

Keywords: Prosthetic joint infection, kidney, liver, HIV, elderly.