Background: Diabetic patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty (TJA) with postoperative hyperglycemia >200 mg/dL have increased the risk of prosthetic joint infection (PJI). We investigated the correlation between preoperative hemoglobin A1c (A1c) and postoperative hyperglycemia in diabetic patients undergoing TJA.
Methods: A retrospective review of 773 diabetic patients undergoing TJA was conducted. A Youden's J computational analysis determined the A1c where postoperative glucose levels >200 mg/dL were statistically more likely. Patients were then stratified into 3 groups: A1c <7%, A1c 7.0-8.0%, and A1c >8.0%. Outcomes included the highest postoperative in-hospital serum glucose level and PJI.
Results: We determined an A1c >7.45% resulted in a greater chance of postoperative hyperglycemia >200 mg/dL. Average postoperative serum glucose increased with A1c (A1c < 7 = 167 mg/dL, A1c 7.0-8.0 = 240 mg/dL, and A1c > 8 = 276 mg/dL, P < .0001). PJI did not statistically increase with A1c (2.25%, 1.99%, and 4.55%, respectively, P = .4319).
Conclusion: Preoperative hemoglobin A1c levels correlate with postoperative glucose levels. We recommend using an A1c cutoff of 7.45% for patients undergoing TJA and suggest that caution should be exercised in patients with elevated A1c levels undergoing TJA.
Keywords: diabetes mellitus; glucose; hemoglobin A1c; prosthetic joint infection; total joint arthroplasty.
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