Role of Rifampin for Treatment of Orthopedic Implant–Related Staphylococcal Infections : A Randomized Controlled Trial | Infectious Diseases | JAMA Network
[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Original Contribution
May 20, 1998

Role of Rifampin for Treatment of Orthopedic Implant–Related Staphylococcal Infections : A Randomized Controlled Trial

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine (Drs Zimmerli and Blatter), Division of Clinical Epidemiology (Dr Widmer), and Bacteriology Laboratory (Dr Frei), University Hospitals, Basel, Switzerland; and Clinic of Orthopedic Surgery, Kantonsspital, Liestal, Switzerland (Dr Ochsner).

JAMA. 1998;279(19):1537-1541. doi:10.1001/jama.279.19.1537

Context.—  Rifampin-containing regimens are able to cure staphylococcal implant-related infections based on in vitro and in vivo observations. However, this evidence has not been proven by a controlled clinical trial.

Objective.—  To evaluate the clinical efficacy of a rifampin combination in staphylococcal infections associated with stable orthopedic devices.

Design.—  A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial conducted from 1992 through 1997.

Setting.—  Two infectious disease services in tertiary care centers in collaboration with 5 orthopedic surgeons in Switzerland.

Patients.—  A total of 33 patients with culture-proven staphylococcal infection associated with stable orthopedic implants and with a short duration of symptoms of infection (exclusion limit <1 year; actual experience 0-21 days).

Intervention.—  Initial debridement and 2-week intravenous course of flucloxacillin or vancomycin with rifampin or placebo, followed by either ciprofloxacin-rifampin or ciprofloxacin-placebo long-term therapy.

Main Outcome Measures.—  Cure was defined as (1) lack of clinical signs and symptoms of infection, (2) C-reactive protein level less than 5 mg/L, and (3) absence of radiological signs of loosening or infection at the final follow-up visit at 24 months. Failure was defined as (1) persisting clinical and/or laboratory signs of infection or (2) persisting or new isolation of the initial microorganism.

Results.—  A total of 18 patients were allocated to ciprofloxacin-rifampin and 15 patients to the ciprofloxacin-placebo combination. Twenty-four patients fully completed the trial with a follow-up of 35 and 33 months. The cure rate was 12 (100%) of 12 in the ciprofloxacin-rifampin group compared with 7 (58%) of 12 in the ciprofloxacin-placebo group (P=.02). Nine of 33 patients dropped out due to adverse events (n=6), noncompliance (n=1), or protocol violation (n=2). Seven of the 9 patients who dropped out were subsequently treated with rifampin combinations, and 5 of them were cured without removal of the device.

Conclusion.—  Among patients with stable implants, short duration of infection, and initial debridement, patients able to tolerate long-term (3-6 months) therapy with rifampin-ciprofloxacin experienced cure of the infection without removal of the implant.