The Alpha-Defensin Immunoassay and Leukocyte Esterase Colorimetric Strip Test for the Diagnosis of Periprosthetic Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

Background:

Synovial biomarkers have recently been adopted as diagnostic tools for periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), but their utility is uncertain. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to synthesize the evidence on the accuracy of the alpha-defensin immunoassay and leukocyte esterase colorimetric strip test for the diagnosis of PJI compared with the Musculoskeletal Infection Society diagnostic criteria.

Methods:

We performed a systematic review to identify diagnostic technique studies evaluating the accuracy of alpha-defensin or leukocyte esterase in the diagnosis of PJI. MEDLINE and Embase on Ovid, ACM, ADS, arXiv, CERN DS (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire Document Server), CrossRef DOI (Digital Object Identifier), DBLP (Digital Bibliography & Library Project), Espacenet, Google Scholar, Gutenberg, HighWire, IEEE Xplore (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers digital library), INSPIRE, JSTOR (Journal Storage), OAlster (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting), Open Content, Pubget, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched for appropriate studies indexed from inception until May 30, 2015, along with unpublished or gray literature. The classification of studies and data extraction were performed independently by 2 reviewers. Data extraction permitted meta-analysis of sensitivity and specificity with construction of receiver operating characteristic curves for each test.

Results:

We included 11 eligible studies. The pooled diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of alpha-defensin (6 studies) for PJI were 1.00 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82 to 1.00) and 0.96 (95% CI, 0.89 to 0.99), respectively. The area under the curve (AUC) for alpha-defensin and PJI was 0.99 (95% CI, 0.98 to 1.00). The pooled diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of leukocyte esterase (5 studies) for PJI were 0.81 (95% CI, 0.49 to 0.95) and 0.97 (95% CI, 0.82 to 0.99), respectively. The AUC for leukocyte esterase and PJI was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95 to 0.98). There was substantial heterogeneity among studies for both diagnostic tests.

Conclusions:

The diagnostic accuracy for PJI was high for both tests. Given the limited number of studies and the large cost difference between the tests, more independent research on these tests is warranted.

Level of Evidence:

Diagnostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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