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Do Biologic Agents Increase the Risk of Infection in Patients Undergoing Lower Limb Arthroplasty Surgery?

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 1 ]

Author(s):

O. Berber, R. Berber, D.L. Back and N.A. Sandiford*   Pages 46 - 52 ( 7 )

Abstract:


Background: Biologic agents have contributed significantly to the management of patients with in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A significant proportion of patients with RA still require arthroplasty procedures however. It is unclear whether these agents increase the risk of post operative infection after lower limb arthroplasty.

Method: A literature search was performed for articles published over the last 10 years in the English language examining the association between anti-tumour necrosis factor inhibitors and the incidence of post operative infection in patients with RA undergoing hip and knee arthroplasty procedures.

Results: One large meta-analysis has been published suggesting a 2-fold increase in infection rates following orthopaedic surgery in patients receiving biological agents. When subgroup analysis of arthroplasty cases alone was performed the finding failed to reach significance. However, several further studies have demonstrated both an increased risk for surgical site infection with the use of biological agents and several conflicting articles argue the opposite.

Conclusion: There is no current consensus on this topic. The safety of continuation of perioperative anti-TNF-α therapy in patients undergoing lower limb arthroplasty procedures is unclear. There is also little robust guidance from specialist rheumatologic societies. There is need for large scale multicentre randomised controlled trials to address this issue.

Keywords:

Anti-tumour necrosis, biologic agents, orthopaedic surgery, rheumatologists, infection rates, anti-TNF-α therapy.

Affiliation:

Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, Guys and St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Brockley Hill, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 4LP, Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, Guys and St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH, Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, Guys and St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH

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