Antibiotic Cement in Arthroplasty: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials Academic Article uri icon

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  • Introduction Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) following arthroplasty surgery is a devastating complication. Antibiotic cement has been proposed as a way to reduce PJI rates. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to review all of the available randomized controlled trial (RCT) evidence on the use of antibiotic cement in arthroplasty. Methods PubMed, MEDLINE, and Embase were searched. All records were screened in triplicate. Eligible RCTs were included. Data regarding study characteristics, patient demographics, and rates of superficial and deep infection were collected. The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool 2.0. Results Five RCTs were included (n = 4,397). Four studies compared antibiotic cement to plain cement while one study compared high-dose dual-antibiotic (HDDA) cement to low-dose single-antibiotic (LDSA) cement. The mean age of included patients was 76.4 years (range: 68-83). There was no significant difference in superficial infection rates between antibiotic and plain cement (odds ratio (OR): 1.33, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.77-2.30, p = 0.3). There was a large but non-significant reduction in deep infection rates for antibiotic cement (OR: 0.20, 95%CI: 0.03-1.32, p = 0.09). There was a significantly lower rate of infection with HDDA as compared to LDSA (OR: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.09-0.88, p = 0.041). Conclusion The available evidence from RCTs reveals a potential benefit for antibiotic cement in arthroplasty surgery, though this difference is non-significant and highly imprecise. Furthermore, HDDA cement was significantly more effective than LDSA cement. There is a need for large, pragmatic trials on this topic.


  • Bhandari, Mohit
  • Ekhtiari, Seper
  • Wood, Thomas
  • Mundi, Raman
  • Axelrod, Daniel
  • Khanna, Vickas
  • Adili, Anthony
  • Winemaker, Mitchell
  • Bhandari, Mohit

publication date

  • April 29, 2020

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