Karius Cell-Free DNA Method to Detect Infection Validated in Study
360Dx reports on a new HSS study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery co-authored by Mathias P. Bostrom, MD, chief of the Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service, finding that a simple blood test can be used to detect periprosthetic joint infections.
Dr. Bostrom explained, “The diagnosis of prosthetic joint infections can be challenging” due to the time it takes for culture results and more painful specimen sampling. He added that the simple blood test is a “paradigm-shifting approach.”
Although it shouldn't be used as the only test for an infection, Dr. Bostrom said it would be a “very useful adjunct” for culture and serology tests, such as white blood cell count tests. Furthermore, he noted the blood test provides more information than a culture because it can determine whether there are multiple organisms in the infection.
Dr. Bostrom stated the blood test can also be used to help clinicians determine whether to put in a new joint. The current standard of care is to take the joint out, put the patient on antibiotics for six weeks, and put a new joint in. With this method, “we don't have a great way to truly determine whether the infection's gone,” he added. The blood test could provide a clearer picture of whether the infection has been eliminated.
Dr. Bostrom concluded the joint study was conducted on a limited number of patients and that more patients would be needed to fully validate the test.
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