Can leucocyte esterase replace frozen sections in the intraoperative diagnosis of prosthetic hip infection?

L. Zagra, F. Villa, L. Cappelletti, E. Gallazzi, G. Materazzi, E. De Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Aims Leucocyte esterase (LE) has been shown to be an accurate marker of prosthetic joint infection (PJI), and has been proposed as an alternative to frozen section (FS) histology for intraoperative diagnosis. In this study, the intraoperative assessment of LE was compared with FS histology for the diagnosis of prosthetic hip infection. Patients and Methods A total of 119 patients undergoing revision total hip arthroplasty (THA) between June 2015 and December 2017 were included in the study. There were 56 men and 63 women with a mean age of 66.2 years (27 to 88). Synovial fluid was collected before arthrotomy for the assessment of LE using enzymatic colourimetric strips. Between five and six samples were stained with haematoxylin and eosin for FS histology, and considered suggestive of infection when at least five polymorphonuclear leucocytes were found in five high-power fields. Results The sensitivity and specificity of the LE assay were 100% and 93.8%, respectively; the positive (PPV) and the negative (NPV) predictive values were 79.3% and 100%, respectively. The mean time between the collection of the sample and the result being known was 20.1 minutes (sd 4.4). The sensitivity and specificity of FS histology were 78.3% and 96.9%, respectively; the PPV and the NPV were 85.7% and 94.9%, respectively. The mean time between the collection of the sample and the result being known was 27.2 minutes (sd 6.9). Conclusion The sensitivity of LE assay was higher, with similar specificity and diagnostic accuracy, compared with FS histology. The faster turnaround time, its ease of use, and low costs make LE assay a valuable alternative to FS histology. We now use it routinely for the intraoperative diagnosis of PJI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-377
Number of pages6
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Volume101 B
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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