Preoperative decolonization and periprosthetic joint infections-A randomized controlled trial with 2-year follow-up.

Rohrer, Felix; Wendt, Malte; Noetzli, Hubert; Risch, Lorenz; Bodmer, Thomas; Cottagnoud, Philippe; Hermann, Tanja; Limacher, Andreas; Gahl, Brigitta; Bruegger, Jan (2021). Preoperative decolonization and periprosthetic joint infections-A randomized controlled trial with 2-year follow-up. Journal of orthopaedic research, 39(2), pp. 333-338. Wiley 10.1002/jor.24916

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Preoperative decolonization, especially of Staphylococcus aureus carriers, has been proposed to reduce periprosthetic joint infections (PJI), but the evidence-based consensus is still lacking and data on long-term outcomes is scarce. In a previous randomized, single-blinded trial, decolonization produced no significant reduction of surgical site infections in overall elective orthopedic surgery at 3-month follow-up. A 2-year follow-up was then performed to specifically detect the impact of decolonization on delayed-onset PJI (3-24 months after surgery). Between November 2015 and September 2017, 613 of 1318 recruited patients underwent prosthetic surgery. Individuals were allocated into either the S. aureus carrier group (34%, 207 of 613 patients) or the noncarrier group (406 of 613 patients), according to nasal swab screening results. Both groups were then randomized into intervention and control arms. In the S. aureus group, the intervention consisted of daily chlorhexidine showers and application of mupirocin nasal ointment twice a day for 5 days before surgery. In noncarriers, only chlorhexidine showers were prescribed. Sample size calculation was based on the initial trial for overall and not for the prosthetic surgery group. No PJI was found at 2 years in either the carrier or in the noncarrier group. Therefore, no definite conclusion about the efficacy of preoperative decolonization to reduce PJI can be drawn. PJI proportions in this study were lower than described in the literature (mostly around 0.3%). Despite the insufficient sample size, this trial is the largest randomized trial on decolonization with a long-term follow-up, and results may be helpful for future meta-analyses.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Institute of Clinical Chemistry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Department of Clinical Research (DCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Risch, Lorenz, Limacher, Andreas, Gahl, Brigitta


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

21 Dec 2020 11:46

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2024 14:16

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Staphylococcus aureus decolonization orthopaedic surgery periprosthetic joint infection prevention




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