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General Orthopaedics


The European Bone and Joint Infection Society (EBJIS), Ljubljana, Slovenia, 7–9 October 2021.



We aimed to assess the incidence and the outcome of Gram-negative prosthetic-joint infections (PJI) in 3 international tertiary hospital.


We included patients with Gram-negative PJI at Humanitas Clinical and Research Hospital (Milan, Italy), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (Lausanne, Switzerland) and Hospital Parc de Salut Mar (Barcelona, Spain) between 2014 and 2018 in a retrospective cohort. We described the treatment's success rate according to Gram-negative species and type of surgical procedure.


In the present cohort we have 780 PJI out of which 71 (9.1%) were caused by Gram-negative bacteria (polymicrobial infection 30%, Escherichia coli 25%, Pseudomonas aeruginosa 20%, Proteus spp. 4%, Klebsiella spp. 3%, Morganella morganii 3%, Enterobacter 3%, others 12%). Gram-negative PJI were more common in females (60%) than males (40%). Sixty percent had a hip infection, 40% a knee infection, the median age was 74 years and the median ASA score was 3. It was a chronic infection in 60% of the cases and an acute one in 40%. Two-step exchange was performed in 55%, débridement and retention (DAIR) in 30%, one-step exchange in 11% and implant removal without replacement in 4% of the patients. The overall treatment success rate was 89%. The success rate was better for two-step exchange (95%) compared to DAIR (81%) and one-step exchange (87%) (p=0.068). The median antibiotic duration was 68 days and ciprofloxacin was used in 70% of the cured patients versus in 88% of the failures (p=0.388). Infections caused by Escherichia coli were associated with a lower success rate (83%) especially compared to Pseudomonas aeruginosa (93%) and polymicrobial infections (90%) (p=0.358). Finally, the success rate was better in knee PJI compared to hip PJI (97% versus 83%, p=0.121) and in females compared to males (93% versus 82%, p=0.121).


The treatment's success of Gram-negative PJI is comparable to reported rates for all bacteria. However, our results suggest that surgical management with two-step exchange might be useful in selected patients’ groups such as those with Escherichia coli PJI. Moreover, ciprofloxacin use seems not to improve cure rate.