D-dimer is a widely available serum test that detects fibrinolytic activities that occur during infection. Prior studies have explored its utility for diagnosis of chronic periprosthetic joint infections (PJI), but not explored its prognostic value for prediction of subsequent treatment failure. The purpose of this study was to: (1) assess the ability of serum D-dimer and other standard-of-care serum biomarkers to predict failure following reimplantation, and (2) establish a new cutoff value for serum D-dimer for prognostic use prior to reimplantation.
This prospective study enrolled 92 patients undergoing reimplantation between April 2015 and March 2019 who had previously undergone total hip/knee resection arthroplasty with placement of an antibiotic spacer for treatment of chronic PJI. Serum D-dimer level, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured preoperatively for all patients. Failure following implantation was defined per the Delphi consensus criteria. Optimal cutoffs for D-dimer, ESR, and CRP were calculated based on ROC curves and compared in their association with failure following reimplantation criteria at minimum 1-year follow-up.
15/92(16.3%) patients failed reimplantation surgery at mean follow up of 2.9 years (range 1.0–4.8). Optimal thresholds for D-Dimer, ESR and CRP were determined to be 1300ng/mL, 30mm/hr, and 1mg/L, respectively. The failure rate in patient with positive D-dimer was significantly higher at 32.0% (8/25) compared to those with negative D-dimer 10.6% (7/66); p=0.024. In comparison, 17.8% (8/45) of patients with ESR above threshold failed, compared to 13.89% (5/41) below (p=0.555) and 16.0% (4/25) of patients with CRP above threshold failed, compared to 16.1% (10/62) below (p=1.000).
Patients with elevated D-Dimer appear to be at higher risk of failure after reimplantation surgery. This serum marker may be used to generate an additional data point in patients undergoing reimplantation surgery, especially in circumstances when optimal timing of reimplantation cannot be determined based on clinical circumstances.