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Fungal Periprosthetic Hip Joint Infections

Christos Koutserimpas
Symeon Naoum
Vasileios Giovanoulis
Konstantinos Raptis
Kalliopi Alpantaki
Konstantinos Dretakis
Georgia Vrioni
5 and
George Samonis
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, “251” Hellenic Air Force General Hospital of Athens, 115 25 Athens, Greece
2nd Department of Orthopaedics, “Hygeia” General Hospital of Athens, 151 23 Marousi, Greece
Department of Orthopaedics, Croix Rousse Hospital, University of Lyon, 69004 Lyon, France
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, “Venizeleion” General Hospital of Crete, 714 09 Iraklio, Greece
Department of Microbiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 115 27 Athens, Greece
Department of Medicine, University of Crete, 715 00 Heraklion, Greece
First Department of Medical Oncology, “Metropolitan” Hospital, Neon Faliron, 185 47 Attica, Greece
Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Heraklion, 715 00 Heraklion, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diagnostics 2022, 12(10), 2341;
Submission received: 19 August 2022 / Revised: 14 September 2022 / Accepted: 25 September 2022 / Published: 27 September 2022


Introduction: Fungal hip prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) are rare but severe infections. Their incidence has increased in the last decades due to the aging population, as well as due to the increased number of immunosuppressed hosts. The present review of all published fungal PJIs in hip arthroplasties aims to present as much data as possible for both medical and surgical treatment options, so that the best applicable management may be concluded. Methods: A meticulous review of all published fungal hip PJIs was conducted. Information regarding demographics, causative fungus, antifungal treatment (AFT), surgical management as well as the infection outcome was recorded. Results: A total of 89 patients suffering fungal hip PJI were identified. The patients’ mean age was 66.9 years. The mean time from initial arthroplasty to onset of symptoms was 69.3 months, while 40.4% of the patients were immunocompromised. The most common imaging method indicating diagnosis was plain X-ray or CT scan (20.2%), while definite diagnosis had become possible through cultures in most cases (98.9%), and/or histology (44.9%). The most frequently isolated fungus was C. albicans (49.4%), followed by C. parapsilosis (18%) and C. glabrata (12.4%), while bacterial co-infection was present in 32 cases (36%). Two-stage revision arthroplasty (TSRA) was the most commonly performed procedure (52.8%), with mean time between the two stages = 7.9 months. Regarding antifungal treatment (AFT), fluconazole was the preferred agent (62.9%), followed by amphotericin B (36%), while the mean duration of AFT was 5.1 months. Outcome was successful in 68 cases (76.4%). Conclusions: Both diagnosis and management of fungal PJIs in patients having undergone total hip arthroplasty are quite demanding. A multidisciplinary approach is of utmost importance, since the combination of AFT and TSRA appears to be the proper treatment method.

1. Introduction

Total hip arthroplasty (THA) represents a successful, widely performed orthopedic procedure for patients with a variety of painful conditions regarding the hip joint. THA may alleviate pain and restore function as well as improve quality of life. Approximately 500,000 THAs are being conducted each year in the United States [1].
Joint reconstruction surgery has greatly improved over the years, as minimally invasive surgical approaches and better postoperative pain management and blood transfusion reduction protocols have been developed, as well as that there is outstanding improvement in navigation, robotic surgery and new prosthetic materials [2,3,4,5].
As life expectancy and the number of THAs have been widely extended, revision reconstruction surgery rates have also been increased [6]. Revision surgery is a very challenging procedure, with a higher risk of complications and variety of success rates [6]. The surgeon faces technical challenges regarding surgical approach and loss of host bone stock as well as the removal of the primary implant [6,7]. The main causes of prosthetic failure encompass infection, aseptic loosening and periprosthetic fractures [5,8].
Prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) regarding THA are considered rare complications, with an incidence of 0.5–1.0%. However, they represent a catastrophic complication regarding quality of the patient’s life, while, occasionally, they may even prove to be lethal [9]. Risk factors for PJI include prolonged duration of surgery, postoperative complications such hematoma and wound dehiscence, tourniquet time and cement type, and comorbidities such as diabetes, malignancy, chronic kidney disease, obesity, immunosuppression and the increased American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade as well as blood transfusion requirement have been reported [10].
In particular, regarding microorganisms responsible for PJIs, fungi are relatively rare causative organisms, reported to be cultured in about 1–2% of all cases. This incidence has increased in the last decades due to an aging population, as well as to the increased number of immunosuppressed hosts [11,12,13]. Although no official guidelines have been established for fungal PJIs, currently, based on limited data, a two-stage revision arthroplasty (TSRA) combined with long-term antifungal treatment (AFT) is recommended [11,14].
The present study represents an effort, by reviewing all published fungal PJI cases in THAs, to collect as much data as possible for both medical and surgical treatment options so that the best applicable management may be concluded.

2. Materials and Methods

A meticulous electronic search of PubMed and MEDLINE databases was conducted so that all existing articles regarding cases of fungal PJIs occurring in THAs were selected. The study period was from January 2000 to May 2022. Alone and/or in combination, the terms “fungal infection”, “periprosthetic joint infection”, “total hip replacement infection”, “total hip arthroplasty infection”, “Candida periprosthetic joint infection”, “Aspergillus periprosthetic joint infection”, “Coccidioidal periprosthetic joint infection”, “mold hip infection”, “yeast hip infection” and “fungal arthroplasty infection” were used. Following the identification of these cases, individual references listed in each publication were further investigated for ascertainment of additional cases.
The present review was limited to papers published in English and in peer-reviewed journals. Expert opinions, book chapters, studies on animals, on cadavers or in vitro investigations, as well as abstracts in scientific meetings were excluded. Additionally, studies without information about the specific antifungal agent used during management were not included.
The data extracted from these studies included age, gender, country of origin, the presence of immunosuppressive conditions/comorbidities, the previous use of antimicrobials, the presence of bacterial co-infection, time interval from joint implantation to symptom onset and from symptom to diagnosis, number of previous revisions in the same joint, reason of previous revision surgery, duration and type of AFT as well as the type of surgical intervention. Furthermore, the results of medical and surgical treatment, along with the follow-up of each case, were recorded and evaluated.
Treatment was considered successful if all signs and symptoms of the infection had disappeared and no recurrence was observed during the follow-up period.
Data were recorded and analyzed using Microsoft Excel 2019 (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, USA).

3. Results

A total of 89 patients (45; 50.6% males) suffering fungal PJI occurring in the hip joint, covering a 22-year period, were identified [15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52]. The studied population’s mean age was 66.9 years (standard deviation (SD) = 13.2).
Table 1 depicts the main characteristics of these cases. Most cases were reported from the USA (24; 27%), followed by cases from Germany (20; 22.5%), from China (11; 12.4%), as well as from many other countries around the globe (Table 1).
The mean time from initial arthroplasty implantation surgery to symptom onset was 69.3 months (SD = 132.4), while the mean time from symptom onset to definite diagnosis was 33.8 months (SD = 43.8).
Regarding the causative fungal organisms, the most frequently isolated one was C. albicans, found in 44 cases (49.4%), followed by C. parapsilosis in 16 (18%), C. glabrata in 12 (12.4%), C. tropicalis in 5 (5.6%), C. famata in 3 (3.3%), Cryptococcus neoformans in 2 (2.2%) and Pseudallescheria boydii, C lipolytica, Aspergillus spp., C. lusitaniae, Alternaria infectoria, Rhodotorula minuta, Pithomyces, Aureobasidium, Hormonema and Coccidioidess spp. yielded in 1 case each (1.2%).
Bacterial co-infection was present in 32 cases (36%), with the most common microorganism being Staphylococcus aureus (8 cases (25%), 5 of them were methicillin-resistant (62.5%)), S. epidermitis (4 cases; 12.5%), Enterococcus faecium (2; 6.3%), Streptococcus spp. (3; 9.4%), Serratia marcescens (2; 6.3%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (2; 6.3%) and E. Coli (2; 6.3%), other unspecified Gram-negative bacilli (2; 6.3%), and Citrobacter koser, Staphylococcus capitis, Staphylococcus hominis, Staphylococcus caprae, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Acinetobacter lwoffi and Propionibacterium acnes were cultured in 1 case (3.1%) each.
Detailed information regarding immunosuppressive conditions is exhibited in Table 1. More specifically, 36 patients (40.4%) were suffering at least one potentially immunosuppressive condition, according to the available information from each report. Particularly, 19 patients were suffering diabetes mellitus (53.8%), 7 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (19.4%), 6 reported chronic steroid usage (16.7%), 5 had a malignancy (13.9%), 5 chronic renal failure (13.9%), 4 rheumatoid arthritis (11.1%), 3 some type of hematological malignancy (8.3%), 3 chronic liver diseases (8.3%), 3 chronic alcohol abuse (8.3%) and 2 hypertension (5.6%), while vasculitis, Sjögren’s syndrome, myasthenia gravis, obesity and systemic lupus erythematosus were reported once each (2.8%).
Regarding previous antibiotic use during the last 6 months from the current infection, in 25 cases (28.1%) administration of an antimicrobial was reported with mean treatment duration = 1.7 months (SD = 1.9). As far as the antibiotic classes are concerned, in 11 cases (44%) Glycopeptides were used, in 6 (24%) Penicillin and Beta-lactamase inhibitors, in 4 (16%) Oxazolidinones, in 3 (12%) Antimycobacterial agents, in 3 (12%) Fluoroquinolones, in 2 (8%) Cephalosporins, in 2 (8%) Carbapenems and Folic Acid inhibitors, and Tetracycline, Penicillin-like antibiotics and Cyclic Lipopeptide were used in 1 (4%) case each. It should also be noted that in 9 cases (36%), although an antibiotic agent was used, the exact class was not reported.
Previous revision reconstruction surgery was reported in 47 cases (52.8%). Regarding the number of previous revisions, the mean value was 3.5 (SD = 2.1), while the most common reasons for revision surgery were infection (23 cases; 50%), aseptic loosening (5; 10.9%) and periprosthetic fracture (1; 2.2%), and in 18 cases (39.1%) the reasons for revision hip surgery were not clarified.
Table 2 highlights diagnostic techniques, including imaging indicating the infection, as well as the methods of firm diagnosis of the disease. Regarding imaging methods indicating diagnosis, plain X-ray or CT scan were performed in 18 patients (20.2%), followed by bone scan in 8 (9%), while magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was implemented in only 1 case (1.1%; case 27).
Definite diagnosis was possible through periprosthetic tissue and/or joint fluid cultures and histopathology. Moreover, in 88 cases (98.9%), fungal species were cultured (joint fluid in 41 cases, 46.6%, tissue specimen in 77 cases, 87.5%). In 40 cases, fungal PJI was diagnosed through histopathology (44.9%), while serology testing was additionally performed in 1 case (1.1%, case 12). In particular, in 40 cases (38%) fungal PJI was diagnosed through both histopathology and cultures.
Table 3 highlights surgical management and AFT of the reported cases, as well as information regarding time between stages in two-stage revision arthroplasty (TSRA), duration of AFT and outcomes. Regarding surgical treatment, TSRA was the most commonly performed procedure (47; 52.8%), with mean time between the two stages of 7.9 months (SD = 12.5), followed by resection arthroplasty (RA) (19; 21.3%), one-stage revision arthroplasty ((OSRA), 12 cases; 13.5%) and debridement (10; 11.2%), while 4 cases did not receive any surgical treatment (4.5%).
Regarding AFT, 48 cases (53.9%) were treated with one antifungal agent, 33 (37.1%) with two, either simultaneously or consecutively, while 10 (11.2%) were treated with more than two antifungal agents. The mean duration of AFT was found to be 5.1 months (SD = 3.8).
Fluconazole was the preferred agent in 56 cases (62.9%, in 26 (46.4%) as monotherapy), followed by amphotericin B in 32 (36%, in 16 (50%) as monotherapy), caspofungin in 18 (20.2%, 2 (11.1%) as monotherapy), flucytosine in 9 (10.1%, none as monotherapy), voriconazole in 6 (6.7%, in 2 (33.3%) as monotherapy) and micafungin in 2 cases (2.2%, 1 (50%) as monotherapy), while ketoconazole, anidulafungin, posaconazole and miconazole were used in 1 case each (1.1%).
Regarding antimicrobial and/or antifungal regimen (AAMR) in cement, 46 cases (51.7%) were treated with at least one AAMR. In particular, in 17 cases (39.5%) a single AAMR was used, in 13 (30.2%) two, and in 16 (37.2%) more than two. Vancomycin was the agent mostly used (26; 60.5%, 3; 13.6% as monotherapy), followed by amphotericin B (22; 51.2%, 12; 54.5% as monotherapy), gentamycin (22; 51.2%, not as monotherapy), clindamycin (6; 14%, not as monotherapy), fluconazole (4; 9.3%, all as monotherapy) and aztreonam (3; 7%, not as monotherapy), while voriconazole, itraconazole and meropenem were used in 1 case each (2.3%).
During the 2000–2022 period, outcome was successful in 68 cases (76.4%), while the mortality rate was 2.2% (2 cases). The mean follow-up was 44.1 months (SD = 29.7).

4. Discussion

The majority of complications related to THA are infrequent and most of them may be prevented if anticipated. However, their significance varies from minor incidents to even fatal situations [53]. The rates of some of these complications may be diminished if proper equipment is available and experienced orthopedic surgeons perform the procedure, in addition to appropriate patient selection, methodical preoperative plan and surgical technique, as well as diligent postoperative treatment [54].
PJI is a serious complication of prosthetic joint implantation and one of the most common reasons for revision surgery [55,56]. PJIs are defined as early onset if they have occurred <3 months after surgery, delayed onset is defined as occurring 3–12 months after surgery and late onset is defined as occurring >12 months after surgery. However, these definitions are controversial and not always absolutely clear, as there is an overlap between early- and delayed-onset PJIs [57]. The incidence of PJI in THA is estimated to be approximately 0.5–1.0%, while bundles of measures have been proposed to eliminate such infections [58,59].
Fungal PJIs’ incidence is approximately 1–2% of all PJIs in total hip arthroplasty cases. Hence, these infections are considered rare. Furthermore, their management, including medical treatment, as well as surgical intervention, is quite challenging [11,12]. It is of note that the management of PJIs may involve several operations, long hospital stays and significant morbidity and mortality [11,12,13].
Candida species represent the most common fungus responsible for such PJIs, followed by other fungi [11,12,13]. It is of paramount importance that data regarding AFT, AFT duration and the infections’ outcomes, as well as the kind of surgical interventions, the use of antifungal agents in cement and the time intervals between the two stages of TSRA be analyzed, so that the best application of both medical and surgical therapy may be delivered.
Fungal PJIs are expected to increase, due to the growing rates of prosthetic joint reconstruction, the rise of immunocompromised hosts and the increasing use of invasive devices such as central venous catheters [9,60]. Immunosuppression and systemic diseases have been reported as risk factors for invasive fungal infections [9,61,62]. In the present review, a total of 36 patients (40.4%) were immunocompromised. DM was the most common immunosuppressive factor in these cases (53.8%). Diabetes mellitus is a major risk factor for mycotic infections. Uncontrolled diabetes leads to unfavorable outcomes regarding fungal infection eradication, while anemia, hypoalbuminemia and elevated serum creatinine have been associated with invasive fungal infections in type 2 diabetes patients [63]. DM leads to immunosuppression by impaired innate immunity and acquired immunity. Functions of neutrophils such as phagocyte, chemotaxis and cytokine production are decreased in DM, while hyperglycemia and Th2-axis shift reducing Th1-dependent immunity are observed in DM patients. Nevertheless, the majority of results concerning the interaction of hyperglycemia and immune function are controversial, and the relevance of hyperglycemia and/or hyperinsulinemia to immunosuppressive mechanisms remains unclear [63,64].
Additional risk factors for fungal infections include impaired immune response secondary to rheumatoid arthritis, malignancy, diabetes, malnutrition, indwelling catheters, prolonged antibiotic use and revision arthroplasty surgery [61,62]. It is of note that currently, no guidelines exist for prophylactic AFT in high-risk, immunocompromised hosts undergoing primary or revision hip reconstruction surgery. Nevertheless, taking into account that the number of immunocompromised hosts is increasing, along with the number of patients undergoing THA, it becomes apparent that the rising of such infections will be the subject of future concern and a field of interesting research. Regarding prolonged antibiotic use, antibiotics are a modifiable iatrogenic risk factor for invasive candidiasis, since they alter the normal flora of the host, while other underlying mechanisms remain unclarified [10,14]. In this study, as far as the history of prolonged antibiotic usage is concerned, in 25 cases (28.1%) at least one antibiotic agent had been administered prior to the current infection, with mean duration of 1.7 months.
In the present study, the mean time interval, in all published fungal PJIs in THAs, between initial joint reconstruction surgery and symptom onset was 69.3 months, which represents late-onset infection, while the mean time from symptom onset to definite diagnosis was 33.8 months. Late-onset PJI is most often due to hematogenous spread [65]. These infections may present with acute onset of systemic symptoms related to bacteremia (similar to early-onset infection), such as pyrexia, and are also characterized by local symptoms, namely joint pain, warmth, tenderness, erythema, edema at the incision site and joint effusion [65]. However, it is not always clear that the infection has been hematogenous and often develops with mild symptoms and, as a result, diagnosis could be delayed [46,66].
As far as the responsible fungal organisms in the present study, the most frequent was Candida albicans, reported in in 44 cases (49.4%), followed by C. parapsilosis in 16 (18%), C. glabrata in 12 (12.4 %), C. tropicalis in 5 (5.6%), C. famata in 3 (3.3%) and Cryptococcus neoformans in 2 (2.2%), while Pseudallescheria boydii, C lipolytica, Aspergillus spp., C. guilliermondii, C. lusitaniae, Alternaria infectoria, Rhodotorula minuta, Pithomyces, Aureobasidium, Hormonema and Coccidioidess spp. were cultured in 1 case each (1.2%). Co-infection was present in 32 cases (36%), with the most common microorganism being Staphylococcus spp. (16 cases; 50%), while other types of organisms have also been isolated. It is notable that coexisting bacterial infection has been mentioned in approximately 15–20% of fungal PJIs [67,68,69]. Bacteria and fungi are thought to act synergistically within the prosthetic biofilm to produce more virulent infections [67]. Patients with more than two co-infective and, especially, multidrug-resistant organisms, had increased risk of recurrent infection that should be considered for appropriate treatment and prognosis [67].
Regarding imaging methods indicating diagnosis, in most patients of the study (20.2%), plain X-ray or CT scans were performed. Despite the fact that radiographic imaging may be considerably valuable, definitive diagnosis cannot be established only by these methods [9,57]. Plain radiographs should be carried out at the onset of suspected PJI so that prosthetic loosening and/or fracture can be seen. Imaging findings are associated with the duration of infection, while 3–6 months are usually required before any manifestation of radiological changes. In addition, low sensitivity as well as specificity for definite PJI diagnosis is reported, as these changes are also observed with aseptic processes [57].
Definite diagnosis may be established through periprosthetic tissue and/or cultures and histopathology. In particular, in 88 of the present cases (98.9%), fungal species were cultured. In 40 (44.9%), fungal PJI was diagnosed through histopathology (38%), while serology testing was additionally performed in 1 case (1.1%). It is of note that serology alone cannot support species identification. Moreover, in 40 (38%) cases, fungal PJI was diagnosed through both histopathology and cultures.
The initial diagnostic algorithm for potential PJI includes plain radiography and measurement of serum inflammatory markers (e.g., ESR and CRP) [57]. Thereafter, a diagnostic arthrocentesis may be performed. [9,68]. Regarding intraoperative specimens, at least three periprosthetic tissue samples (ideally five) should be obtained with different instruments, so that absence of cross-contamination between specimens may be guaranteed. Both cultures and histology examination of intraoperative samples should be performed [57].
Regarding surgical management, TSRA was the most commonly used procedure (47; 52.8%), with a mean time between stages of 7.9 months (SD = 12.5), followed by resection arthroplasty (RA) (19; 21.3%), OSRA (12; 13.5%) and debridement (10; 11.2%), while 5 cases had no surgical treatment (4.5%). Although conclusive guidelines for treatment of fungal PJIs are not established, it appears that TSRA consists of the most preferred surgical intervention [11,12,14]. Other surgical interventions include debridement and retention of prosthesis, OSRA, RA with no reimplantation, arthrodesis or amputation [9,11,12,47,55]. However, it should be noted that both amputation and arthrodesis may severely affect a patient’s quality of life, while OSRA has doubtful outcomes as far as bacterial PJIs are concerned [69,70]. It is worth mentioning that TSRA’s success rate was 92%, while ORSA, RA and debridement exhibited success rates of 92%, 75% and 17%, respectively (Table 3). Revision reconstruction procedures are technically challenging and are frequently associated with inferior outcomes when compared to primary THA. Revision procedures have been associated with higher post-operative complications such as aseptic loosening, periprosthetic fractures, infection, dislocation, and more difficult rehabilitation [70].
Regarding AFT, 48 cases (53.9%) were treated with a single antifungal agent, 33 (37.1%) with two, either simultaneously or consecutively, and 10 (11.2%) with more than two antifungal agents. The mean duration of AFT was found to be 5.1 months. The duration of AFT usually varies and is based on clinical and laboratory findings of each case, as well as physicians’ experience with these types of infections [11,60,68]. Susceptibility testing should be thoroughly performed so that precise MIC values can be obtained, following the isolation of the causative fungus, due to the fact that numerous species of fungi are characterized by resistance to particular antifungal drugs [11].
Fluconazole was the preferred agent in most cases (56; 62.9%), followed by amphotericin B (32; 36%), caspofungin (18; 20.2%), flucytosine (9; 10.1%), voriconazole (6; 6.7%) and micafungin (2; 2.2%), while ketoconazole, anidulafungin, posaconazole and miconazole were used in 1 case each (1.1%). Fluconazole was widely administered in the studied cases, in spite of its inefficacy against molds [68]. However, it should be mentioned that both fluconazole and amphotericin B deoxycholate were the only AFTs available in the early years of the reviewed cases [71,72]. In particular, liver function should be regularly kept under observation during extended fluconazole treatment, as hepatotoxicity has been associated with this agent’s administration [71]. Moreover, amphotericin B is relatively nephrotoxic, limiting its prolonged use. Nonetheless, nephrotoxicity was notably minimized with the use of liposomal amphotericin B compared to the conventional deoxycholate formulation [72,73]. Caspofungin, an echinocandin, is broadly used for invasive candidiasis, particularly in critically ill patients and/or patients with neutropenia [14]. The main benefit of echinocandins compared to other antifungal agents is their fungicidal effectiveness against Candida spp., including fluconazole-resistant C. glabrata and C. krusei, as well as their low renal/hepatic toxicity and drug–drug interactions [14].
More specifically, regarding Candida PJIs, which are the most common ones (83 Candida spp. were cultured in 79 cases (88.8%)), fluconazole was the preferred agent in 54 cases (68.%, in 26 (48.1%) as monotherapy), followed by amphotericin B in 26 (32.9%, in 11 (42.3%) as monotherapy), caspofungin in 17 (21.5%, 1 (5.9%) as monotherapy), flucytosine in 9 (10.1%, none as monotherapy), voriconazole in 5 cases (6.3%, in 1 (20%) as monotherapy) and micafungin in 2 cases (2.2%, 1 (50%) as monotherapy), while ketoconazole, anidulafungin and miconazole were used in 1 case each (1.1%). The majority of C. albicans isolates are susceptible to both fluconazole and echinocandins. Nevertheless, in cases of C. glabrata, fluconazole should not be initially applied, since these species are considered fluconazole-resistant. Echinocandins could be the primary AFT for osteoarticular infections due to C. glabrata, followed by step-down therapy with oral azoles based on the susceptibilities [46,69].
It is of note that the type and duration of AFT remains controversial. The Infectious Diseases Society of America in cases of fungal septic arthritis recommends either 400 mg fluconazole daily for 6 weeks or an echinocandin, such as caspofungin, for 2 weeks followed by 400 mg fluconazole for at least 4 weeks, while the lipid formulation of amphotericin B for 2 weeks followed by fluconazole for at least 4 weeks represents an alternative option [74]. Nevertheless, in cases that prosthetic implants are present, such as the studied cases, very limited data exist. It has been reported that if the prosthesis may not be removed, chronic suppression could be performed with fluconazole. Regarding fluconazole, the absence of serious adverse effects and favorable pharmacokinetic features of rapid oral absorption with high bioavailability, extended half-life allowing once-daily administration and high concentration of this antifungal in joint fluid approximating that in plasma make it a good choice for the treatment of fungal PJI, especially from an orthopedic point of view [74,75]. It should also be noted that evidence of synergy among antifungals is not clear; however, the antagonistic effect between the agents in use has not been reported so far.
Regarding AAMR in cement, 17 cases (39.5%) were treated with a single agent, 13 (30.2%) with two and 16 (37.2%) with more than two, while in 43 cases (48.3%) no data were available. Vancomycin and amphotericin B were the agents mostly used (60.5% and 51.2%, respectively), followed by gentamycin (51.2%). Cement spacers with antimicrobial agents are recommended in cases of TSRA due to PJI [76,77]. The release of antibiotics from bone cement usually follows a biphasic pattern, with high early release in the first 24 h from the surface of the spacer, then followed by gradual release over the following days. The elution of the antibiotics from bone cement in high concentrations is an important step in healing [76,77]. Based on in vitro studies, only fluconazole, voriconazole and amphotericin B have been evaluated and, thus, may be used for impregnation of bone cement. Literature data are scarce regarding the use of antifungal-impregnated cement in the management of fungal PJIs [75]. A few cases provide information that different antifungal agents can be locally released under in vivo circumstances. However, the ideal impregnation type and dose of antifungals has so far not been defined. It is of note that the type, amount and ratio of the used agent(s), the type and porosity of cement, the surface characteristics and the way the cement is prepared, as well as the environmental circumstances, represent factors affecting the elution kinetics of bone cement. Future studies are needed to investigate the optimal impregnation of bone cement with antifungal agents and evaluate its clinical use in larger samples [75].
During the 2000–2022 study period, the infection’s outcome was successful in 68 cases (76.4%), while the mortality rate was 2.2%. It is notable, however, that the success rate drops to 61.8% in the cases of bacterial co-infection. Hence, bacterial co-infection in fungal hip PJIs should be considered a serious factor increasing the morbidity of the infection.
It is of note that PJIs occurred in 49 (55.1%) surgically revised hip cases (at least one previous surgery), with a mean age of 68.3 years (SD = 14.1). Regarding outcomes of both medical and surgical management, successful rates were reported in 40 cases (81.6%), while the mortality rate was 4% (2 cases).
The present review has some limitations. Not all information from the published cases was available. For example, dosages, drug serum levels, MICs and side effects of the used antifungal drugs, in the vast majority of the cases, were not reported. Nevertheless, this study provides valuable information about epidemiology, symptomatology, diagnosis and medical and surgical management, as well as outcome of cases of fungal hip PJIs.

5. Conclusions

Both diagnosis and management of fungal PJIs in patients having undergone THA are quite demanding. A multidisciplinary approach is of utmost importance, since the combination of AFT and TSRA appears to be the proper treatment method. TSRA poses a notable challenge, since great bone defects may exist, while precise preoperative planning is crucial. Based on the fact that outcomes of treatment procedures and policies remain inconclusive, further research and data analysis are required, so that optimal treatment be established.

Author Contributions

Conception and design, all authors; Data collection, S.N., C.K.; Writing original draft preparation, all authors; Writing—review and editing, all authors. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Table 1. Patients’ demographics, causative fungus, bacterial co-infection, comorbidities, number of previous revisions in the same joint, reason of the previous revision, time (T) interval from joint implantation to symptom onset and from symptom to diagnosis are presented. COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, SLE: systemic lupus erythematosus, DM: diabetes mellitus, (−): not mentioned in the original cases.
Table 1. Patients’ demographics, causative fungus, bacterial co-infection, comorbidities, number of previous revisions in the same joint, reason of the previous revision, time (T) interval from joint implantation to symptom onset and from symptom to diagnosis are presented. COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, SLE: systemic lupus erythematosus, DM: diabetes mellitus, (−): not mentioned in the original cases.
Case NoYearAuthorGender/AgeFungusCo-InfectionImmunosuppressive Medication and ConditionsNumber of Previous RevisionsReason of the Previous RevisionT from Implantation to Symptomatology (Months)T from Symptom Onset to Diagnosis (Months)
12001Ramamohan et al.
F/65C. glabrata1Aseptic loosening48
22001Merrer et al. [16]F/81C. albicansDM, Colonic carcinoma144
32001Marra et al. [17]M/59C. albicans2Aseptic loosening84
42001Bruce et al. [18]F/68C. albicans24
52001Bruce et al. [18]F/51C. parapsilosis7236
62002Phelanet al. [19]F/75C. albicans>2Infection32.727.6
72002Phelanet al. [19]F/60C. albicans1Infection14.910.1
82002Phelanet al. [19]M/83C. albicans184.2179.6
92002Phelanet al. [19]M/44C. albicansRheumatoid arthritis210
102002Phelanet al. [19]F/75C. parapsilosis60.136
112002Cutrona et al. [20]NR/NRRhodotorula minuta
122004Lazzarini et al.
M/63C. albicansChronic monocytic leukemiaInfection7
et al. [22]
M/74C. glabrataLoosening72
142008Antony et al. [23]F/67C. parapsilosis
152008Azam et al. [24]M/73C.
162009Johannsson B and Cakkaggab JJ [25]M/84Cryptococcus neoformansUntreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia, prostate carcinoma>1Infection108
172010Kelesidis T and Tsiodraas S [26]F/93C. albicansColonic carcinoma DM5
182010Dutronc et al. [27]F/85C. albicansUterine cancer>1Infection
192010Dutronc et al. [27]M/66C. parapsilosisChronic kidney failure>1Infection
202010Dutronc et al. [27]M/77C. parapsilosis>1Infection5
212011Gottesman-Yekutiel et al. [28]F/66Pseudallescheria boydiiRheumatoid arthritis, immunosuppressive therapy with steroids2412
222012Bartalesi et al. [29]F/60C. glabrata28
232012Anagnostakos et al. [30]M/78C. glabrataMyelodysplastic syndrome9Infection
242012Anagnostakos et al. [30]F/51C. albicans C. glabrataCOPD Hepatitis B6Infection
252012Anagnostakos et al. [30]M/77C. lipolyticaDM,
alcohol consumption, COPD
262012Anagnostakos et al. [30]F/68C. albicans11Infection
272012Hall et al. [31]F/60C. glabrataP aeroginosa, E. coliRheumatoid arthritis, vasculitisInfection
282013Ueng et al. [32]M/75C. albicansChronic renal insufficiency, COPD47
292013Ueng et al. [32]M/64C. tropicalisDM, chronic renal insufficiency, COPD16
302013Ueng et al. [32]F/62C. albicans2
312013Ueng et al. [32]M/66C. parapsilosis3
322013Lidder et al. [33]F/76C. tropicalis1Aseptic loosening36
332013Artiaco et al. [34]F/70C. albicansRheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, immunosuppressive therapy with steroids and methotrexate3Infection72
342013Kuiper et al. [35]M/58C. parapsilosis
352013Chiu et al. [36]M/71C. parapsilosis48
362014Shah et al. [37]F/77Cryptococcus neoformansGram−negative bacilliDM, myasthenia gravis, immunosuppressive medication prednisone
372014Zhu et al. [38]M/44C. parapsilosis2
382014Klatte et al. [39]M/67C. albicansStreptococcus spp.DM7Infection6
392014Klatte et al. [39]F/78C. albicansDM4Infection1
402014Klatte et al. [39]F/81C. glabrata3Infection8
412014Klatte et al. [39]M/88C. albicansMRSA,
Ser. Marcescens
DM, COPD4Infection1
422014Klatte et al. [39]F/62C. albicansUnspecified bacteriaDM3Infection26
432014Klatte et al. [39]M/31C. albicansStreptococcus spp.DM4Infection4
442016Carrega et al. [40]F/68C. albicansDM1periprosthetic fracture6
452016Jenny et al. [41]F/78C. albicansS. epidermis, Propionibacterium acnesHypertension, slight renal Impairment1Infection48
462017Cobo et al. [42]M/77C. glabrataRheumatoid arthritis, immunosuppressive therapy, chronic liver disease from alcohol consumption3Loosening, infection1017
472017Sebastian et al. [43]M/53C.
482017Bartash et al. [44]M/54Aspergillus terreusDM, obesity, hepatitis C3Infection13.33.5
492018Yong et al. [45]M/88C. albicansMRSA, Ser. MarcescensDM, COPD44
502018Yong et al. [45]M/66C. parapsilosisMRSACOPD24
512018Yong et al. [45]M/31C. albicansMRSADM, renal cell carcinoma126
522018Brown et al. [46]F/77Pithomyces
532018Brown et al. [46]F/84C. albicans
542018Brown et al. [46]F/75C. albicans
552018Brown et al. [46]M/60Aureobasidium,
562018Brown et al. [46]M/68C. albicans
572018Brown et al. [46]M/37C. albicans
582018Brown et al. [46]F/63C. albicans,
592018Brown et al. [46]M/89Coccidioides
602018Brown et al. [46]F/56C. albicans
612018Brown et al. [46]F/75C. parapsilosis
622018Brown et al. [46]F/61C. glabrata
632018Brown et al. [46]M/45C. albicans
642018Brown et al. [46]M/76C. albicansMRSA
652018Gao et al. [47]F/62C. tropicalis
S. epidermitis, E. coli336
662018Gao et al. [47]M/42C. albicansAcinetobacter lwoffii210
672018Gao et al. [47]F/53C. albicansS. aureusDM68
682018Gao et al. [47]F/43C. albicansEnterococcus faecalis484
692018Gao et al. [47]M/78C. glabrataGram negative bacilli41
702019Pasticci et al. [48]M/71C. glabrataDM4
712020Saconi et al. [49]F/64C. albicansS. aureusDM, alcohol consumption46
722020Saconi et al. [49]F/61C. parapsilosisS. aureusHepatitis C432
732020Saconi et al. [49]M/66C. parapsilosisDM144
742020Saconi et al. [49]M/63C. lusitaniaeDM, kidney
transplantation, prednisone use
752020Saconi et al. [49]F/53C. albicansSLE, methotrexate use702
762020Saconi et al. [49]M/61C. albicansS. haemolyticus,
Enterococcus faecium,
P. aeruginosa
772021Baecker et al. [50]NR/85C. famataS. epidermidis2
782021Baecker et al. [50]NR/81C. albicans3
792021Baecker et al. [50]NR/67C. famataCitrobacter koser3
802021Baecker et al. [50]NR/81C. parapsilosisS. caprae1
812021Baecker et al. [50]NR/78C. parapsilosis1
822021Baecker et al. [50]NR/81C. famata5
832021Baecker et al. [50]NR/82C. albicans7
842021Baecker et al. [50]NR/78C. albicansS. epidermidis3
852021Baecker et al. [50]NR/60C. parapsilosisStreptococcus sanguinis7
862021Baecker et al. [50]NR/83Alternaria infectoria3
872021Baecker et al. [50]NR/57C. albicans6
882021Bottagisio et al. [51]F/75C. albicansS. capitis2Infection372
892021Lin et al. [52]F/76C. albicansS. hominisHypertension3Infection93
Table 2. Definite diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infections caused by fungus and imaging techniques that each case underwent during the process of diagnosing the infection. MRI: magnetic resonance imaging, CT: computer tomography, (−): not mentioned in the original cases, (+): performed in the original cases.
Table 2. Definite diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infections caused by fungus and imaging techniques that each case underwent during the process of diagnosing the infection. MRI: magnetic resonance imaging, CT: computer tomography, (−): not mentioned in the original cases, (+): performed in the original cases.
Bone ScanningCulturesBiopsySerology
1+Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
2+Joint fluid
3Joint fluid, tissue specimen
4Joint fluid
5Tissue specimenTissue specimen
6+Tissue specimen
7+Tissue specimen
8+Tissue specimen
9Tissue specimen
10Tissue specimen
11Tissue specimen
12Joint fluid+
13+Tissue specimen
14Tissue specimen
15Tissue specimen
16+Joint fluid
17+Tissue specimen
18Tissue specimen
19Tissue specimen
20Tissue specimen
21+Joint fluid
22Joint fluid
23+Joint fluidTissue specimen
24+Joint fluidTissue specimen
25+Joint fluidTissue specimen
26+Joint fluidTissue specimen
27++Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
28Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
29Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
30Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
31Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
32+Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
33+Joint fluid
34Tissue specimen
35Tissue specimen
36+Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
38Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
39Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
40Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
41Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
42Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
43Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
44++tissue specimenTissue specimen
45Joint fluid, tissue specimen
46+Tissue specimen
47Tissue specimen
48+Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
49Tissue specimen
50Tissue specimen
51Tissue specimen
52Tissue specimen
53Tissue specimen
54Tissue specimen
55Tissue specimen
56Tissue specimen
57Tissue specimen
58Tissue specimen
59Tissue specimen
60Tissue specimen
61Tissue specimen
62Tissue specimen
63Tissue specimen
64Tissue specimen
65Joint fluid, tissue specimen
66Joint fluid, tissue specimen
67Joint fluid, tissue specimen
68Joint fluid, tissue specimen
69Joint fluid, tissue specimen
70+Joint fluid, tissue specimen
71Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
72Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
73Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
74Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
75Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
76joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
77Tissue specimenTissue specimen
78Tissue specimenTissue specimen
79Tissue specimenTissue specimen
80Tissue specimenTissue specimen
81Tissue specimenTissue specimen
82Tissue specimenTissue specimen
83Tissue specimenTissue specimen
84Tissue specimenTissue specimen
85Tissue specimenTissue specimen−−
86Tissue specimenTissue specimen
87Tissue specimenTissue specimen
88+Tissue specimenTissue specimen
89+Joint fluid, tissue specimenTissue specimen
Table 3. Surgical and antifungal treatment, duration of AFT, follow-up and infection outcome of the reported cases. ST: surgical treatment, TSRA: two-stage revision arthroplasty, OSRA: one-stage revision arthroplasty, AFT: antifungal treatment, NS: no surgery, RA: resection arthroplasty, (−): not mentioned in the original cases.
Table 3. Surgical and antifungal treatment, duration of AFT, follow-up and infection outcome of the reported cases. ST: surgical treatment, TSRA: two-stage revision arthroplasty, OSRA: one-stage revision arthroplasty, AFT: antifungal treatment, NS: no surgery, RA: resection arthroplasty, (−): not mentioned in the original cases.
CaseSTTime between Stages in TSRA (Months)Antimicrobial and/or Antifungal Regimen in CementAntifungal Treatment (AFT)Total Duration of AFT (Months)Follow-Up (Months)Outcome
1TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, 5−Fluocytosine1.524Success
7TSRA2.4FluconazoleAmphotericin B,
8TSRA17.7Amphotericin B, Ketoconazole, Fluconazole3.573Success
9TSRA5Amphotericin B1.560Success
Amphotericin B
11TSRA12Amphotericin BSuccess
12RAAmphotericin B148Success
13RAAmphotericin B, Fluconazole, Caspofungin136Success
15TSRACaspofungin, Fluconazole>312Success
16RAAmphotericin B, Fluconazole4.3Failure
18Debridement + RAFluconazole, 5-Fluorocytocine5Success
20RAAmphotericin B, 5-Fluocytosine, Fluconazole9.5Success
22TSRAVoriconazole, Caspofungin, Amphotericin B2.448Success
23TSRA3Gentamicin, VancomycinFluconazole1.515Success
24TSRA3.5Gentamicin, VancomycinFluconazole1.570Success
25TSRA3Gentamicin, VancomycinFluconazole1.522Success
26TSRA3.5Gentamicin, VancomycinCaspofungin1.528Success
28RAVancomycin, AztreonamFluconazoleFailure/Death
29RAVancomycin, AztreonamFluconazoleSuccess
30RAVancomycin, AztreonamFluconazoleSuccess
31TSRAAmphotericin, VancomycinFluconazoleSuccess
33DebridementFluconazole, Miconazole612Failure
36TSRA3 Amphotericin B1.512Success
37NSAmphotericin B, Voriconazole1.53Success
38OSRAGentamicin, Clindamycin, VancomycinFluconazoleMean 84Success
39OSRAGentamicin, Clindamycin, VancomycinFluconazole, Amphotericin BMean 84Success
40OSRAGentamicin, ClindamycinFlucytosine, Amphotericin BMean 84Success
41OSRAGentamicin, Clindamycin, VancomycinFlucytosine, Amphotericin BMean 84Success
42OSRAGentamicin, ClindamycinVoriconazoleMean 84Success
43OSRAGentamicin, Clindamycin, VancomycinFlucytosine, Amphotericin BMean 84Success
45OSRAVoriconazole, Flucytosine. Fluconazole336Success
46OSRACaspofungin, Fluconazole65Success
48TSRAVancomycin, VoriconazolePosaconazole19.2Success
49OSRA5-Flucytocine, Amphotericin B>36Success
50RAFluconazole, Vancomycin1>28Success
51TSRAVancomycin, Fluconazole0.5Failure/Death
52DebridementAmphotericin BAmphotericin BSuccess
53DebridementAmphotericin BAmphotericin BFailure
54TSRANRAmphotericin BAmphotericin BSuccess
55NSAmphotericin BSuccess
56TSRANRAmphotericin BAmphotericin BFailure
57DebridementAmphotericin BAmphotericin BFailure
58DebridementAmphotericin BAmphotericin BFailure
59NSAmphotericin BSuccess
60RAAmphotericin BAmphotericin BSuccess
61RAAmphotericin BAmphotericin BFailure
62RAAmphotericin BAmphotericin BFailure
63TSRANRAmphotericin BAmphotericin BFailure
64DebridementAmphotericin BAmphotericin BFailure
65TSRANRFluconazole, VancomycinFluconazole, Itraconazole22118Failure
68TSRA18Vancomycin, MeropenemFluconazole497Success
69TSRA72VancomycinFluconazole, Voriconazole, Caspofungin,1171Failure
71Debridement + RAFluconazole6
74OSRAMicafungin, Fluconazole6
75Debridement + RAFluconazole671Success
76Debridement + RAFluconazole0.874Success
77TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole644Failure
78TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole642Success
79TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole627Success
80TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole641Success
81TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole635Success
82TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole626Success
83TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole626Failure
84TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole626Success
85TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole639Success
86TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole637Success
87TSRA1.5Amphotericin B, Vancomycin, GentamycinCaspofungin, Fluconazole635Success
88TSRA3Gentamicin, Clindamycin, VoriconazoleFluconazole612Success
89Debridement + TSRAVancomycinFluconazole612Success
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Koutserimpas, C.; Naoum, S.; Giovanoulis, V.; Raptis, K.; Alpantaki, K.; Dretakis, K.; Vrioni, G.; Samonis, G. Fungal Periprosthetic Hip Joint Infections. Diagnostics 2022, 12, 2341.

AMA Style

Koutserimpas C, Naoum S, Giovanoulis V, Raptis K, Alpantaki K, Dretakis K, Vrioni G, Samonis G. Fungal Periprosthetic Hip Joint Infections. Diagnostics. 2022; 12(10):2341.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Koutserimpas, Christos, Symeon Naoum, Vasileios Giovanoulis, Konstantinos Raptis, Kalliopi Alpantaki, Konstantinos Dretakis, Georgia Vrioni, and George Samonis. 2022. "Fungal Periprosthetic Hip Joint Infections" Diagnostics 12, no. 10: 2341.

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