The Alpha Defensin-1 Biomarker Assay can be Used to Evaluate the Potentially Infected Total Joint Arthroplasty

Joshua Bingham, Henry Clarke, Mark Spangehl, Adam Schwartz, Christopher Beauchamp, Brynn Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Scopus citations

Abstract

Questions/purposes: We sought to (1) determine the sensitivity and specificity of the AD-1 assay in a population of patients being evaluated for PJI, using the Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS) criteria as the reference standard, and (2) compare the AD-1 assay with other currently available clinical tests, specifically cell count, culture, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein.

Patients and Methods: A retrospective review was performed of all patients undergoing workup for a PJI at our institution from January to June 2013. Sixty-one AD-1 assays were done in 57 patients. The group included 51 patients with 55 painful joints and six patients who underwent aspiration before second-stage reimplantation. Patients were considered to have a PJI if they met the MSIS criteria. We calculated the sensitivity and specificity of the AD-1 synovial fluid assay, and compared it with the sensitivity and specificity of the synovial fluid cell count, culture, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein. There were 19 diagnosed infections in the 61 aspirations, with 21 positive and 40 negative AD-1 assays. There were two false positive and no false negatives AD-1 assays.

Results: The sensitivity and specificity for the AD-1 assay were 100% (95% CI, 79%–100%) and 95% (95% CI, 83%–99%), respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the other tests ranged from 68% to 95% and 66% to 88%, respectively. The AD-1 assay results outperformed the other tests but did not reach statistical significance except for the sensitivity of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Conclusion: The sensitivity and specificity of the synovial fluid AD-1 assay exceeded the sensitivity and specificity of the other currently available clinical tests evaluated here but did not reach significance. The AD-1 assay offers another test with high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing a PJI especially in the case where the diagnosis of PJI is uncertain, but larger studies will be needed to determine significance and cost effectiveness.

Level of Evidence: Level III, diagnostic study. See the Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Background: Diagnosing a periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) requires a complex approach using various laboratory and clinical criteria. A novel approach to diagnosing these infections uses synovial fluid biomarkers. Alpha defensin-1 (AD-1) is one such synovial-fluid biomarker. However little is known about the performance of the AD-1 assay in the diagnosis of PJI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4006-4009
Number of pages4
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Volume472
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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