Pulse lavage washing in decontamination of allografts improves safety

Martti Hirn, Minna Katariina Laitinen, Risto Vuento

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We analyzed the bacterial contamination rate of 140 femoral head allografts after rinsing the allografts in different decontamination solutions. Bacterial screening methods and cleansing effect of antibiotics (cefuroxime and rifampicin) and pulse lavage were compared. Swabbing and taking small pieces of bone for culture were the screening methods used. Both methods proved to be quite unreliable. Approximately one-fourth of the results were false negative. Culturing small pieces of bone gave the most accurate and reliable results and, therefore, can be recommended as a bacterial screening method. The use of antibiotics in allograft decontamination is controversial. In prophylactic use antibiotics include risks of allergic reactions and resistant development and our results in the present study show that antibiotics do not improve the decontamination any better than low-pressure pulse lavage with sterile saline solution. Therefore, pulse lavage with sterile saline solution can be recommended for allograft decontamination. Our results demonstrate that it decreases bacterial bioburden as effectively as the antibiotics without persisting the disadvantages.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChirurgia degli Organi di Movimento
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2003
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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