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Role of Routine Suppressive Antibiotic Therapy After Debridement, Antibiotics, and Implant Retention for Acute Periprosthetic Joint Infections.

BACKGROUND: The first-line management strategy for acute periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs) is debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention (DAIR). Suppressive antibiotic therapy (SAT) after DAIR is proposed to improve outcomes, yet its efficacy remains under scrutiny.

METHODS: We conducted a multicenter retrospective study in patients with acute PJI of the hip or knee who were treated with DAIR in centers from Europe and the United States. We analyzed the effect of SAT using a Cox model landmarked at 12 weeks. The primary covariate of interest was SAT, which was analyzed as a time-varying covariate. Patients who experienced treatment failure or were lost to follow-up within 12 weeks were excluded from the analysis.

RESULTS: The study included 510 patients with 66 treatment failures with a median follow-up of 801 days. We did not find a statistically significant association between SAT and treatment failure (hazard ratio, 1.37; 95% CI, .79-2.39; P = .27). Subgroup analyses for joint, country cohort, and type of infection (early or late acute) did not show benefit for SAT. Secondary analysis of country cohorts showed a trend toward benefit for the US cohort (hazard ratio, 0.36; 95% CI, .11-1.15; P = .09), which also had the highest risk of treatment failure.

CONCLUSIONS: The utility of routine SAT as a strategy for enhancing DAIR's success in acute PJI remains uncertain. Our results suggest that SAT's benefits might be restricted to specific groups of patients, underscoring the need for randomized controlled trials. Identifying patients most likely to benefit from SAT should be a priority in future studies.

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