Diagnostic Value of Next-Generation Sequencing in Periprosthetic Joint Infection: A Systematic Review

Orthop Surg. 2022 Feb;14(2):190-198. doi: 10.1111/os.13191. Epub 2021 Dec 21.


Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has developed rapidly in the last decade and is emerging as a promising diagnostic tool for periprosthetic joint infection (PJI). However, its diagnostic value for PJI is still uncertain. This systematic review aimed to explore the diagnostic value of NGS for PJI and verify its accuracy for culture-negative PJI patients. We conducted this systematic review in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library were searched to identify diagnostic technique studies evaluating the accuracy of NGS in the diagnosis of PJI. The diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were estimated for each article. The detection rate of NGS for culture-negative PJI patients or PJI patients with antibiotic administration history was also calculated. Of the 87 identified citations, nine studies met the inclusion criteria. The diagnostic sensitivities and specificities of NGS ranged from 63% to 96% and 73% to 100%, respectively. The positive and negative predictive values ranged from 71% to 100% and 74% to 95%, respectively. The detection rate of NGS for culture-negative PJI patients in six studies was higher than 50% (range from 82% to 100%), while in three studies it was lower than 50% (range from 9% to 31%). Also, the detection rate of NGS for PJIs with antibiotic administration history ranged from 74.05% to 92.31%. In conclusion, this systematic review suggests that NGS may have the potential to be a new tool for the diagnosis of PJI and should be considered to be added to the portfolio of diagnostic procedures. Furthermore, NGS showed a favorable diagnostic accuracy for culture-negative PJI patients or PJI patients with antibiotic administration history. However, due to the small sample sizes of studies and substantial heterogeneity among the included studies, more research is needed to confirm or disprove these findings.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Next-generation sequencing; Periprosthetic joint infection; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Infectious* / diagnosis
  • Biomarkers
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections* / diagnosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers