What is the diagnostic value of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for surgical site infection in fracture-related infection?

Jonathan Sliepen, Jolien Onsea, Charalampos G. Zalavras, Melissa Depypere, Geertje A.M. Govaert, Mario Morgenstern, Martin A. McNally, Michael H.J. Verhofstad, William T. Obremskey, Frank F.A. IJpma, Willem Jan Metsemakers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: Fracture-related infection (FRI) remains one of the most challenging complications in orthopaedic trauma surgery. An early diagnosis is of paramount importance to guide treatment. The primary aim of this study was to compare the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for the diagnosis of organ/space surgical site infection (SSI) to the recently developed diagnostic criteria of the FRI consensus definition in operatively treated fracture patients.  

Methods: This international multicenter retrospective cohort study evaluated 257 patients with 261 infections after operative fracture treatment. All patients included in this study were considered to have an FRI and treated accordingly (‘intention to treat’). The minimum follow-up was one year. Infections were scored according to the CDC criteria for organ/space SSI and the diagnostic criteria of the FRI consensus definition.  

Results: Overall, 130 (49.8%) FRIs were captured when applying the CDC criteria for organ/space SSI, whereas 258 (98.9%) FRIs were captured when applying the FRI consensus criteria. Patients could not be classified as having an infection according to the CDC criteria mainly due to a lack of symptoms within 90 days after the surgical procedure (n = 96; 36.8%) and due to the fact that the surgery was performed at an anatomical localization not listed in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) operative procedure code mapping (n = 37; 14.2%).   

Conclusion: This study confirms the importance of standardization with respect to the diagnosis of FRI. The results endorse the recently developed FRI consensus definition. When applying these diagnostic criteria, 98.9% of the infections that occured after operative fracture treatment could be captured. The CDC criteria for organ/space SSI captured less than half of the patients with an FRI requiring treatment, and seemed to have less diagnostic value in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2879-2885
Number of pages7
JournalInjury
Volume52
Issue number10
Early online date10 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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