Microbiological culture results for the femoral head. Are they important to the donor?

TitleMicrobiological culture results for the femoral head. Are they important to the donor?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsJames LA, Ibrahim T, Esler CN
JournalJ Bone Joint Surg Br
Pagination797 - 800
Date PublishedAug
ISSN0301-620X (Print) 0021-9355 (Linking)
Accession Number15330017
Keywords*Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, *Bone Banks, Aged, Antibiotic Prophylaxis, Bacteria / *isolation & purification, Bacterial Infections / *microbiology / prevention & control, Bone Transplantation, Female, Femur Head / *microbiology / transplantation, Humans, Male, Prospective Studies, Tissue Donors

We determined the rate of contamination of donated femoral heads at primary hip arthroplasty within a single region between July 1992 and July 2001. We established the null hypothesis that culture results played no role in predicting early failure of the joint because of infection. The rate of contamination was 9%. A positive culture, at the time of retrieval, was found in 367 of 4045 femoral heads. Coagulase-negative staphylococcus was isolated in 77% of the positive cases. At a minimum follow-up of one year, there was no statistically significant difference in the rate of complications or of revision of age-matched patients whose femoral heads had a positive culture compared with those whose femoral heads were sterile. Our findings confirm that culture of the femoral head plays no part in determining future failure of joint replacement in the donor.

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