COULD INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS FALSELY INDICATE JOINT INFECTION?
Orthopedics This Week reports that a research team at HSS conducted a study evaluating how inflammatory arthritis could falsely indicate joint infection.
Their resulting work, “Clinical and Histological Features of Prosthetic Joint Infections May Differ in Patients With Inflammatory Arthritis and Osteoarthritis,” appears in the May 2023 edition of HSS Journal: The Musculoskeletal Journal of Hospital for Special Surgery.
“There are overlapping clinical and lab features of flares of inflammatory arthritis and prosthetic joint infection including fever and joint swelling and elevated synovial white blood cell counts that make rapid diagnosis and differentiation challenging,” explained Susan M. Goodman, M.D, co-author and rheumatologist at HSS. “We have been studying this to find ways to make a diagnosis more efficiently, as delays in appropriate therapy, including surgical debridement of infections, decrease the success rate.”
When asked if they were at all surprised by the results, Dr. Goodman stated, “No—we have been suspicious that there was overlap in the diagnosis of PJI and flares of inflammatory arthritis, and we have been very interested in improving our ability to discriminate between the two entities. This would enable us to avoid unnecessary surgery when the patient is actually flaring, as well as to make a rapid and accurate diagnosis in infected patients. We need to develop better diagnostic tests to use in this setting.”
Read the full article at ryortho.com.