Acute Kidney Injury When Treating Periprosthetic Joint Infections After Total Knee Arthroplasties with Antibiotic-Loaded Spacers: Incidence, Risks, and Outcomes

Louis Dagneaux, Afton K. Limberg, Douglas R. Osmon, Nelson Leung, Daniel J. Berry, Matthew P. Abdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Two-stage exchange arthroplasty with a high-dose antibiotic-loaded bone cement (ALBC) spacer and intravenous or oral antibiotics is the most common method of managing a periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) after a total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, little is known about the contemporary incidence, the risk factors, and the outcomes of acute kidney injuries (AKIs) in this cohort. METHODS: We identified 424 patients who had been treated with 455 ALBC spacers after resection of a PJI following a primary TKA from 2000 to 2017. The mean age at resection was 67 years, the mean body mass index (BMI) was 33 kg/m2, 47% of the patients were women, and 15% had preexisting chronic kidney disease (CKD). The spacers (87% nonarticulating) contained a mean of 8 g of vancomycin and 9 g of an aminoglycoside per construct (in situ for a mean of 11 weeks). Eighty-six spacers also had amphotericin B (mean, 412 mg). All of the patients were concomitantly treated with systemic antibiotics for a mean of 6 weeks. An AKI was defined as a creatinine level of ≥1.5 times the baseline or an increase of ≥0.3 mg/dL within any 48-hour period. The mean follow-up was 6 years (range, 2 to 17 years). RESULTS: Fifty-four AKIs occurred in 52 (14%) of the 359 patients without preexisting CKD versus 32 AKIs in 29 (45%) of the 65 patients with CKD (odds ratio [OR], 5; p = 0.0001); none required acute dialysis. Overall, when the vancomycin concentration or aminoglycoside concentration was >3.6 g/batch of cement, the risk of AKI increased (OR, 1.9 and 1.8, respectively; p = 0.02 for both). Hypertension (β = 0.17; p = 0.002), perioperative hypovolemia (β = 0.28; p = 0.0001), and acute atrial fibrillation (β = 0.13; p = 0.009) were independent predictors for AKI in patients without preexisting CKD. At the last follow-up, 8 patients who had sustained an AKI had progressed to CKD, 4 of whom received dialysis. CONCLUSIONS: In our study, the largest series to date that we are aware of regarding this issue, AKI occurred in 14% of patients with normal renal function at baseline, and 2% developed CKD after undergoing a 2-stage exchange arthroplasty for a PJI after TKA. However, the risk of AKI was fivefold greater in those with preexisting CKD. The causes of acute renal blood flow impairment were independent predictors for AKI. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-760
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 5 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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