Serum and Wound Vancomycin Levels After Intrawound Administration in Primary Total Joint Arthroplasty

Jeremiah D. Johnson, Joseph M. Nessler, Ryan D. Horazdovsky, Sandy Vang, Avis J. Thomas, Scott B. Marston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background Periprosthetic joint infection is the most common cause of readmissions after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Intrawound vancomycin powder (VP) has reduced infection rates in spine surgery; however, there are no data regarding VP in primary TJA. Methods Thirty-four TJA patients received 2 g of VP intraoperatively to investigate VP's pharmacokinetics. Serum and wound concentrations were measured at multiple intervals over 24 hours after closure. Results All serum concentrations were subtherapeutic (<15μg/mL) and peaked 12 hours after closure (4.7μg/mL; standard deviation [SD], 3.2). Wound concentrations were 922 μg/mL (SD, 523) 3 hours after closure and 207 μg/mL (SD, 317) at 24 hours. VP had a half-life of 7.2 hours (95% confidence interval, 7.0-9.3) in TJA wounds. Conclusions VP produced highly therapeutic intrawound concentrations while yielding low systemic levels in TJA. VP may serve as a safe adjunct in the prevention of periprosthetic joint infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-928
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • intrawound vancomycin concentration
  • periprosthetic infection
  • primary total joint arthroplasty
  • prophylactic vancomycin
  • serum vancomycin concentration
  • topical vancomycin


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