Iron status evaluation as a marker of postoperative joint infection: A pilot study

E. Galliera, E. Dozio, G. Dogliotti, C. Vassena, L. Colloredo Mels, C. L. Romanò, R. Mattina, M. M. Corsi, Lorenzo Drago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated the effect of different inflammatory conditions on iron status and, as a consequence, the possible use of iron markers as indicators of infection in the diagnosis of postoperative prosthetic orthopaedic joint infections. The study population was consisted of 26 patients undergoing revision of total hip or total knee joint arthroplasty and subdivided into three groups according to the cause of prosthesis implant failure: 10 as having had previous infection (Group A), 10 patients were categorized as having infection (Group B); and the remaining 6 (Group C) as not having infection. These patients were assayed for mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and serum values of iron (Fe), ferritin (Fer), transferrin (Tf), soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), and transferrin saturation (sat Tf). Septic patients display statistically significant lower serum iron concentration, higher sTfR and ferritin levels, lower, but not statistically significant, MCHC compared to non septic ones. Little differences were observed for Tf, sat Tf, tibc, TfR index, among the three groups of patients. Our study suggests that iron status parameters, in particular serum iron, ferritin, sTfR and TfR index, could be useful tools for the early detection and the diagnosis of orthopaedic prosthetic joint infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1155
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Iron markers
  • Prosthetic joint infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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