Prosthetic joint-associated infections treated with DAIR (debridement, antibiotics, irrigation, and retention): analysis of risk factors and local antibiotic carriers in 91 patients

Acta Orthop. 2013 Aug;84(4):380-6. doi: 10.3109/17453674.2013.823589. Epub 2013 Jul 12.


Background and purpose: For prosthetic joint-associated infection (PJI), a regimen of debridement, antibiotics, irrigation, and retention of the prosthesis (DAIR) is generally accepted for acute infections. Various risk factors associated with treatment success have been described. The use of local antibiotic carriers (beads and sponges) is relatively unknown. We retrospectively analyzed risk factors in a cohort of patients from 3 hospitals, treated with DAIR for PJI.

Patients and methods: 91 patients treated with DAIR for hip or knee PJI in 3 Dutch centers between 2004 and 2009 were retrospectively evaluated. The mean follow-up was 3 years. Treatment success was defined as absence of infection after 2 years, with retention of the prosthesis and without the use of suppressive antibiotics.

Results: 60 patients (66%) were free of infection at follow-up. Factors associated with treatment failure were: a history of rheumatoid arthritis, late infection (> 2 years after arthroplasty), ESR at presentation above 60 mm/h, and infection caused by coagulase-negative Staphylococcus. Symptom duration of less than 1 week was associated with treatment success. The use of gentamicin sponges was statistically significantly higher in the success group, and the use of beads was higher in the failure group in the univariate analysis, but these differences did not reach significance in the logistic regression analysis. Less surgical procedures were performed in the group treated with sponges than in the group treated with beads.

Interpretation: In the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, duration of symptoms of more than 1 week, ESR above 60 mm/h, late infection (> 2 years after arthroplasty), and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus PJI, the chances of successful DAIR treatment decrease, and other treatment methods should be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Drug Carriers*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hip Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Hip Prosthesis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Knee Prosthesis / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / drug therapy
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / microbiology
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Failure
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Drug Carriers