Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 165–168 | Cite as

Utility of percutaneous joint aspiration and synovial biopsy in identifying culture-positive infected hip arthroplasty

  • M. Connor Cross
  • Mark J. KransdorfEmail author
  • F. Spencer Chivers
  • Roxanne Lorans
  • Catherine C. Roberts
  • Adam J. Schwartz
  • Christopher P. Beauchamp
Scientific Article



Percutaneous synovial biopsy has recently been reported to have a high diagnostic value in the preoperative identification of periprosthetic infection of the hip. We report our experience with this technique in the evaluation of patients undergoing revision hip arthroplasty, comparing results of preoperative synovial biopsy with joint aspiration in identifying an infected hip arthroplasty by bacteriological analysis.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively reviewed the results of the 110 most recent revision hip arthroplasties in which preoperative synovial biopsy and joint aspiration were both performed. Revision surgery for these patients occurred during the period from September 2005 to March 2012. Using this study group, results from preoperative cultures were compared with preoperative laboratory studies and the results of intraoperative cultures. Synovial aspiration was done using an 18- or 20-gauge spinal needle. Synovial biopsy was done coaxially following aspiration using a 22-gauge Chiba needle or 21-gauge Sure-Cut needle. Standard microbiological analysis was performed on preoperative synovial fluid aspirate and synovial biopsy. Intraoperative tissue biopsy bacteriological analysis results at surgical revision were accepted as the “gold standard” for the presence or absence of infection.


Seventeen of 110 (15 %) of patients had intraoperative culture-positive periprosthetic infection. Of these 17 cases, there were ten cases where either the synovial fluid aspiration and/or the synovial biopsy were true positive (sensitivity of 59 %, specificity of 100 %, positive predictive value of 100 % and accuracy of 94 %). There were seven cases where aspiration and biopsy results were both falsely negative, but no false-positive results. Similar results were found for synovial fluid aspiration alone. The results of synovial biopsy alone resulted in the identification of seven infected joints with no false-positive result (sensitivity of 41 %, specificity of 100 %, positive predictive value of 100 %, and accuracy of 91 %).


Standard microbiological analyses performed on percutaneous synovial biopsy specimen during the preoperative evaluation of patients undergoing revision hip arthroplasty did not improve detection of culture-positive periprosthetic infection as compared to synovial fluid aspiration alone.


Percutaneous joint aspiration Synovial biopsy Arthroplasty Hip Prosthesis Infection Periprosthetic infection 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© ISS 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Connor Cross
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mark J. Kransdorf
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. Spencer Chivers
    • 1
  • Roxanne Lorans
    • 1
  • Catherine C. Roberts
    • 1
  • Adam J. Schwartz
    • 2
  • Christopher P. Beauchamp
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMayo ClinicPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryMayo ClinicPhoenixUSA
  3. 3.TulsaUSA

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