Percutaneous Bone Biopsy for Diabetic Foot Osteomyelitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Marcos C Schechter, Mohammed K Ali, Benjamin B Risk, Adam D Singer, Gabriel Santamarina, Hannah K Rogers, Ravi R Rajani, Guillermo Umpierrez, Maya Fayfman, Russell R Kempker
Open Forum Infectious Diseases 2020, 7 (10): ofaa393

Background: Diabetes is the leading cause of lower extremity nontraumatic amputation globally, and diabetic foot osteomyelitis (DFO) is usually the terminal event before limb loss. Although guidelines recommend percutaneous bone biopsy (PBB) for microbiological diagnosis of DFO in several common scenarios, it is unclear how frequently PBBs yield positive cultures and whether they cause harm or improve outcomes.

Methods: We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Trials databases for articles in any language published up to December 31, 2019, reporting the frequency of culture-positive PBBs. We calculated the pooled proportion of culture-positive PBBs using a random-effects meta-analysis model and reported on PBB-related adverse events, DFO outcomes, and antibiotic adjustment based on PBB culture results where available.

Results: Among 861 articles, 11 studies met inclusion criteria and included 780 patients with 837 PBBs. Mean age ranged between 56.6 and 71.0 years old. The proportion of males ranged from 62% to 86%. All studies were longitudinal observational cohorts, and 10 were from Europe. The range of culture-positive PBBs was 56%-99%, and the pooled proportion of PBBs with a positive culture was 84% (95% confidence interval, 73%-91%). There was heterogeneity between studies and no consistency in definitions used to define adverse events. Impact of PBB on DFO outcomes or antibiotic management were seldom reported.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests PBBs have a high yield of culture-positive results. However, this is an understudied topic, especially in low- and middle-income countries, and the current literature provides very limited data regarding procedure safety and impact on clinical outcomes or antibiotic management.

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