Acidosis of synovial fluid correlates with synovial fluid leukocytosis

Thomas T. Ward, Roy T. Steigbigel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The antibacterial activity of aminoglycoside antibiotics is significantly reduced by lowering the pH of the incubation medium. Since gram-negative septic arthritis responds poorly to aminoglycoside antibiotic therapy, we sought to determine whether synovial fluid acidosis contributes to this poor outcome. Synovial fluid samples from 22 patients with various forms of acute and chronic arthritis were examined for white blood cell count and pH. A close correlation (r = -0.92, p < 0.001) between an increasing white blood cell count and a decreasing pH was demonstrated. Since septic arthritis is associated with high white blood cell counts, in synovial fluid, the resultant low pH may contribute to the poor response of gram-negative septic arthritis treated with aminoglycoside antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-936
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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