Assessment and diagnosis of the acute hot joint: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Dey, Mrinalini ORCID: 0000-0001-6858-4338, Al-Attar, Mariam, Peruffo, Leticia, Coope, Ashley, Zhao, Sizheng Steven, Duffield, Stephen and Goodson, Nicola ORCID: 0000-0003-0714-3568
(2023) Assessment and diagnosis of the acute hot joint: a systematic review and meta-analysis. RHEUMATOLOGY, 62 (5). pp. 1740-1756.

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<h4>Objectives</h4>Prompt diagnosis of septic arthritis (SA) in acute native hot joints is essential for avoiding unnecessary antibiotics and hospital admissions. We evaluated the utility of synovial fluid (SF) and serum tests in differentiating causes of acute hot joints.<h4>Methods</h4>We performed a systematic literature review of diagnostic testing for acute hot joints. Articles were included if studying ≥1 serum or SF test(s) for an acute hot joint, compared with clinical assessment and SF microscopy and culture. English-language articles only were included, without date restriction. The following were recorded for each test, threshold and diagnosis: sensitivity, specificity, positive/negative predictive values and likelihood ratios. For directly comparable tests (i.e. identical fluid, test and threshold), bivariate random-effects meta-analysis was used to pool sensitivity, specificity, and areas under the curves.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 8443 articles were identified, and 49 were ultimately included. Information on 28 distinct markers in SF and serum, differentiating septic from non-septic joints, was extracted. Most had been tested at multiple diagnostic thresholds, yielding a total of 27 serum markers and 156 SF markers. Due to heterogeneity of study design, outcomes and thresholds, meta-analysis was possible for only eight SF tests, all differentiating septic from non-septic joints. Of these, leucocyte esterase had the highest pooled sensitivity [0.94 (0.70, 0.99)] with good pooled specificity [0.74 (0.67, 0.81)].<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our review demonstrates many single tests, individually with diagnostic utility but suboptimal accuracy for exclusion of native joint infection. A combination of several tests with or without a stratification score is required for optimizing rapid assessment of the hot joint.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: septic arthritis, infectious arthritis, crystal arthritis, gout, hot joint, synovial fluid, biomarker, point-of-care testing
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Life Courses and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2023 08:38
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2023 01:30
DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/keac606
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