The two-stage revision strategy has been claimed as being the “gold standard” for treating prosthetic joint infection. The one-stage revision strategy remains an attractive alternative option; however, its effectiveness in comparison to the two-stage strategy remains uncertain.
To compare the effectiveness of one- and two-stage revision strategies in treating prosthetic hip infection, using re-infection as an outcome.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, manual search of bibliographies to March 2015, and email contact with investigators.
Cohort studies (prospective or retrospective) conducted in generally unselected patients with prosthetic hip infection treated exclusively by one- or two-stage revision and with re-infection outcomes reported within two years of revision. No clinical trials were identified.
Data were extracted by two independent investigators and a consensus was reached with involvement of a third. Rates of re-infection from 38 one-stage studies (2,536 participants) and 60 two-stage studies (3,288 participants) were aggregated using random-effect models after arcsine transformation, and were grouped by study and population level characteristics.
In one-stage studies, the rate (95% confidence intervals) of re-infection was 8.2% (6.0–10.8). The corresponding re-infection rate after two-stage revision was 7.9% (6.2–9.7). Re-infection rates remained generally similar when grouped by several study and population level characteristics. There was no strong evidence of publication bias among contributing studies.
Evidence from aggregate published data suggest similar re-infection rates after one- or two-stage revision among unselected patients. More detailed analyses under a broader range of circumstances and exploration of other sources of heterogeneity will require collaborative pooling of individual participant data.