6 weeks of antibiotics not better than 12 weeks for prosthet
The management of prosthetic joint infection usually consists of a combination of surgery and antimicrobial therapy. The appropriate duration of antimicrobial therapy for this indication remains unclear.

Researchers performed an open-label, randomized, controlled, noninferiority trial to compare 6 weeks with 12 weeks of antibiotic therapy in patients with microbiologically confirmed prosthetic joint infection that had been managed with an appropriate surgical procedure. The primary outcome was persistent infection (defined as the persistence or recurrence of infection with the initial causative bacteria, with an antibiotic susceptibility pattern that was phenotypically indistinguishable from that at enrollment) within 2 years after the completion of antibiotic therapy.

Noninferiority of 6 weeks of therapy to 12 weeks of therapy would be shown if the upper boundary of the 95% confidence interval for the absolute between-group difference (the value in the 6-week group minus the value in the 12-week group) in the percentage of patients with persistent infection within 2 years was not greater than 10 percentage points.

-- A total of 410 patients from 28 French centers were randomly assigned to receive antibiotic therapy for 6 weeks (205 patients) or for 12 weeks (205 patients).

-- Six patients who withdrew consent were not included in the analysis. In the main analysis, 20 patients who died during follow-up were excluded, and missing outcomes for 6 patients who were lost to follow-up were considered to be persistent infection.

-- Persistent infection occurred in 35 of 193 patients (18.1%) in the 6-week group and in 18 of 191 patients (9.4%) in the 12-week group (risk difference, 8.7 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, 1.8 to 15.6); thus, noninferiority was not shown.

-- Noninferiority was also not shown in the per-protocol and sensitivity analyses.

-- They found no evidence of between-group differences in the percentage of patients with treatment failure due to a new infection, probable treatment failure, or serious adverse events.

Conclusively, among patients with microbiologically confirmed prosthetic joint infections that were managed with standard surgical procedures, antibiotic therapy for 6 weeks was not shown to be noninferior to antibiotic therapy for 12 weeks and resulted in a higher percentage of patients with unfavorable outcomes.

Source: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2020198?query=TOC