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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a Risk Factor for Complications in Total Joint Arthroplasty

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Gholson JJ1, Wilkinson BG1, Brown TS1, Gao Y1, Dowdle SB1, Callaghan JJ1. Iowa Orthop J. 2018;38:183-190.

Abstract

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1 University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) has been associated with increased complications following hip and knee arthroplasty. The Purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which SLE is a risk factor in outcomes following total joint arthroplasty (TJA).

METHODS: The nationwide inpatient sample was used to identify a cohort of 505,841 patients who had a total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) between 2009-2011. Of these patients, 2,284 patients (0.45%) had been previously diagnosed with SLE. The impact of SLE on short-term TJA outcomes was determined using multivariate logistic regression. Differences in discharge destination and length of stay were also evaluated.

RESULTS: SLE patients were more likely to have an all-cause medical complication, (OR 1.9, p<0.0001) and more likely to have an all-cause surgical complication (OR 1.3, p<0.0001). SLE patients were four times more likely to become septic in the post-operative period (OR 3.8, p<0.0487). SLE patients were more likely to have a genitourinary complication (OR 1.7, p<0.0001) and bleeding complications requiring transfusion (OR 2.1, p<0.0001). Patients with SLE also had an increased length of stay (0.38 days, p<0.0001) and increased probability of discharging to a facility (OR 2.1, p<0.0001).

DISCUSSION: Patients with SLE had an increased rate of both medical and surgical all-cause complications. Patients were specifically found to be at higher risk for sepsis, genitourinary complications, and blood transfusions. Future risk adjustment models should include SLE as a contributor to medical and surgical complications in the postoperative period.