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JRPMS Vol 4, No 3, September 2020, p.68-75

doi: 10.22540/JRPMS-04-068


Review Article

Application of the orthopedic implant sonication method to diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infections

Anna Mavrommati

  • Microbiology Department, General Hospital of Athens “SOTIRIA”, Athens, Greece

Keywords: Orthopedic implant, PJI, Sonication method


Arthroplasty is one of the most common surgical procedures in Orthopaedic Surgery. Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) constitutes a rare complication of arthroplasties, but with severe social and economic impact, if the large and growing daily number of arthroplasties is taken into account. PJI diagnosis presents, even today, serious difficulties. Correlation of the specific infection pathogenesis to the microorganism ability to grow in biofilms has opened a new field of research. The method of implant sonication is a relatively recent development, applied to facilitate removal of microbes from the attached biofilm and subsequent cultivation and isolation of them. During the years following the first application of the method, multiple different protocols have been applied with different results, in comparison to the reference method, which is the conventional implant culture. Most studies yield encouraging results, implying superiority of the sonication technique in comparison with classic cultivation methods. In view of these results, the sonication method appears to be a reliable as well as easy to apply, fast and low cost examination technique, offering effective contribution to timely diagnosis of PJI.