Background: Fungal infection at an arthroplasty site is rare and poses a therapeutic challenge. To the best of our knowledge, no reports have been published thus far on the success rate of prosthesis reimplantation after fungal prosthetic joint infections. Questions/purposes: We asked: (1) What is the success rate in terms of infection eradication using a two-stage exchange arthroplasty in patients with hip or knee fungal periprosthetic joint infections, particularly focusing on Candida infections? (2) What patient-, infection-, and treatment-related variables are associated with the success or failure of treatment? Methods: From January 2000 to December 2010, 16 patients with hip or knee candidal periprosthetic joint infections were treated with two-stage exchange arthroplasty at our institute. Treatment success was defined as a well-functioning joint without relapse of candidal infection after prosthesis reimplantation, while treatment failure was defined as uncontrolled or relapse of candidal infection or mortality. Variables, including age, sex, comorbidities, microbiology, antimicrobial agents used, and operative methods, were analyzed. Minimum followup was 28 months (mean, 41 months; range, 28-90 months). Results: At latest followup, the treatment failed to eradicate the infection in eight of the 16 patients, and there were four deaths related to fungemia. Four patients required permanent resection arthroplasty owing to uncontrolled or recurrent candidal infections. All eight patients (50% successful rate) who had their infections eradicated and successful prosthesis reimplantation had prolonged treatment with oral fluconazole before (mean, 8 months) and after (mean, 2.2 months) prosthesis reimplantation. The antifungal therapy correlated with successful treatment. Renal insufficiency, hypoalbuminemia, anemia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were significantly more prevalent in the treatment-failure group than in the treatment-success group. Conclusions: Half of the patients treated with two-stage exchange arthroplasty for fungal periprosthetic joint infections had recurrence or lack of control of the infection. A prolonged antifungal therapy appeared to be essential for successful treatment of candidal periprosthetic joint infections. The presence of renal insufficiency, hypoalbuminemia, anemia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease might be associated with a poor outcome. Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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