Low-Dose Aspirin for Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis is Associated With Lower Rates of Periprosthetic Joint Infection After Total Joint Arthroplasty



      Aspirin as a venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylactic agent has been shown to have antistaphylococcal and antibiofilm roles. Optimal acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) dosage would facilitate antimicrobial effects while avoiding over-aggressive inhibition of platelet antimicrobial function. Our purpose was to determine the periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) rate after total joint arthroplasty in patients receiving low-dose ASA (81 mg twice a day), in comparison to high-dose ASA (325 mg twice a day).


      We conducted a retrospective cohort study between 2008 and 2020. Eligible patients were older than 18 years, underwent primary total joint arthroplasty, both total knee arthroplasty and total hip arthroplasty, had a minimum 30-day follow-up, and received a full course ASA as VTE prophylaxis. Patients’ records were reviewed for PJI, according to Musculoskeletal Infection Society criteria. Patients were excluded if they underwent revision arthroplasty, had a history of coagulopathy, or had an ASA regimen that was not completed. In total 15,825 patients were identified, 8,761 patients received low-dose ASA and 7,064 received high-dose ASA.


      The high-dose cohort had a higher PJI rate (0.35 versus 0.10%, P = .001). This relationship was maintained when comparing subgroups comprising total knee arthroplasty (0.32 versus 0.06%, P = .019) or total hip arthroplasty (0.38 versus 0.14%, P = .035) and accounting for potentially confounding demographic and surgical variables (odds ratio = 2.59, 95% CI = 1.15-6.40, P = .028).


      Comparing low-dose to high-dose ASA as a VTE prophylactic agent, low-dose ASA had a lower PJI rate. This may be attributable to a balance of anti-infective properties of ASA and antiplatelet effects.


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