In vitro study of the efficacy of acrylic bone cement loaded with supplementary amounts of gentamicin: Effect on mechanical properties, antibiotic release, and biofilm formation

Nicholas Dunne, Janet Hill, P. McAfee, K. Todd, R. Kirkpatrick, Michael Tunney, Sheila Patrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Infection remains a severe complication following a total hip replacement. If infection is suspected when revision surgery is being performed, additional gentamicin is often added to the cement on an ad hoc basis in an attempt to reduce the risk of recurrent infection.

Methods and results: In this in vitro study, we determined the effect of incorporating additional gentamicin on the mechanical properties of cement. We also determined the degree of gentamicin release from cement, and also the extent to which biofilms of clinical Staphylococcus spp. isolates form on cement in vitro. When gentamicin was added to unloaded cement (1–4 g), there was a significant reduction in the mechanical performance of the loaded cements compared to unloaded cement. A significant increase in gentamicin release from the cement over 72 h was apparent, with the amount of gentamicin released increasing significantly with each additional 1 g of gentamicin added. When overt infection was modeled, the incorporation of additional gentamicin did result in an initial reduction in bacterial colonization, but this beneficial effect was no longer apparent by 72 h, with the clinical strains forming biofilms on the cements despite the release of high levels of gentamicin.

Interpretation: Our findings indicate that the addition of large amounts of gentamicin to cement is unlikely to eradicate bacteria present as a result of an overt infection of an existing implant, and could result in failure of the prosthetic joint because of a reduction in mechanical performance of the bone cement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-785
Number of pages12
JournalActa Orthopaedica
Volume78
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery

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