A systematic review and meta-analysis of antibiotic-loaded bone cement for prevention of deep surgical site infections following primary total joint replacement

J Infect Chemother. 2024 Mar 12:S1341-321X(24)00078-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jiac.2024.03.003. Online ahead of print.


Background: The use of antibiotic-loaded bone cement (ALBC) as a mean for preventing deep surgical site infections (SSI) after total joint replacement is controversial. Therefore, we have conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the prophylactic effect of ALBC for SSI prevention in patients undergoing arthroplasty. This study was conducted to revise treatment guidelines for MRSA infections in Japan.

Methods: PubMed (Medline), Scopus, Embase, Web of Science and Cochrane library were searched for relevant articles comparing preventive effect of ALBC for patients undergoing primary total joint arthroplasty by August 2022. Primary outcome was the incidence of deep SSI. Subgroup analyses by type of surgery (total hip (THA) or knee (TKA) arthroplasty) and by causative pathogen (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)) were performed.

Results: Of the 3379 studies identified for screening, six studies involving 5745 patients were included. The use of ALBC significantly reduced the incidence of deep SSI in overall patients (risk ratio [RR] 0.60, 95% confidential interval [CI] 0.39-0.92), but the evidence level was very low. There was no significant preventive effect for ALBC compared with non-ALBC in both THA and TKA (THA, RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.23-1.16; TKA, RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.38-1.06), and for preventing MRSA-SSI (RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.03-2.41).

Conclusions: Although the overall preventive effect of ALBC was significant, the evidence level was very low. Thus, the routine use of ALBC as a mean to prevent SSI in arthroplasty may not be suggested.

Keywords: Antibiotic-loaded bone cement; Artificial joint replacement; deep surgical site infection; meta-analysis.