The results of 148 preoperative hip aspirations performed in the radiology department were analyzed and compared with those of preoperative aspirations done in the operating room in another group of patients. The aspirations were performed in a standard fluoroscopic room used only for “clean procedures”; strict aseptic precautions were used. The majority of patients had undergone prosthetic hip arthroplasty. The results were comparable, i.e., the sensitivity for the radiologic aspirations was 0.88, as compared with 1.00 for intraoperative aspirations; the specificities were 0.83 and 0.78, respectively. The advantages of aspirations done in the radiology department include lower cost, shorter hospitalization, and simultaneous performance of arthrography, if indicated. Important aspects of technique include meticulous aseptic precautions, avoidance of local anesthetics, and prompt transportation of the specimen to the laboratory.
Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.