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Efficacy and Safety of Different Antibiotic Therapies for Bone and Joint Infections: A Network Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 29 ]


Xiangwen Shi, Yipeng Wu, Haonan Ni, Minzheng Guo, Qi Cheng and Yongqing Xu*   Pages 2313 - 2322 ( 10 )


Background: Although an increasing number of antibiotics are being used to treat bone and joint infections, their specific efficacy remains controversial. Thus, we aimed to systematically compare the efficacy and safety of antibiotic therapies for orthopedic infections.

Methods: PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases were searched from inception to April 2022. Two authors independently and rigorously conducted the screening, data extraction, and quality assessment of the relevant studies. All the extracted data were evaluated using traditional metaanalysis and network meta-analysis by STATA SE 16.0.

Results: A total of eleven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 1,063 patients were included for data analysis. The analysis results from the NMA indicated that in terms of the clinical effectiveness rate, linezolid (OR: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.01 to 3.02) showed significant efficacy compared to ampicillin/sulbactam. With regard to the microbiological eradication rate, linezolid showed significant efficacy compared to cephalosporins (OR: 8.13, 95% CI: 1.16 to 57.09) and quinolones (OR: 3.51, 95% CI: 1.18 to 10.49). Similar findings were obtained for subgroup populations with diabetic foot infections (DFI). However, linezolid was significantly related to higher adverse events than ampicillin/sulbactam (OR: 3.25, 95% CI: 1.68 to 6.30) and cephalosporins (OR: 18.29, 95% CI: 1.59 to 209.76).

Conclusion: Linezolid appeared to be the most promising treatment regimen for staphylococcal bone and joint infections. However, due to the overall limited evidence, the research results need further high-quality RCTs for confirmation.


Bone and joint infections, antibiotic, efficacy, safety, network meta-analysis, RCTs.


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