The role of intraoperative frozen section analysis in joint arthroplasty with CD66b immunohistochemical staining

Youngeun Yoo, Sanghui Park, Euno Choi, Sun Hee Sung

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The preoperative diagnosis of infection during joint arthroplasty is important for clinical management. However, the evaluation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) during frozen section analysis is sometimes difficult due to frozen artifacts. In the present study, we sought to investigate the utility of intraoperative fresh frozen section (FFS) examination for diagnosis of infection and to evaluate whether the neutrophil-specific surface marker CD66b helps to improve the diagnostic accuracy of infection. A consecutive series of 65 original frozen sections at the time of resection arthroplasty was retrospectively reviewed compared with corresponding permanent sections. The presence of PMNs was determined using intraoperative FFS and permanent sections. Furthermore, CD66b staining was performed to identify PMNs clearly. The ratio of male to female patients was 21:42. The mean age was 70 years. Postoperatively, 25 of 65 cases were histologically diagnosed with infection (25/65; 39%). The sensitivity and specificity of intraoperative FFS relative to permanent section histology were 100% (25/25) and 95% (38/40), respectively. Among 40 patients without infection, two showed false-positive results during intraoperative FFS diagnosis (2/40, 5%). In addition, on CD66b staining, six cases (9%) experienced changes in results, which altered the sensitivity and specificity of intraoperative FFS compared with permanent histology only to 87% and 87%, respectively. In conclusion, the diagnostic performance of intraoperative FFS is high and comparable to yields of permanent section histology. Therefore, intraoperative FFS is highly suitable diagnostic method for detection of infection during joint arthroplasty. And CD66b immunostaining facilitates delicate identification of PMNs, especially in equivocal cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-411
Number of pages7
JournalMalaysian Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021, Malaysian Society of Pathologists. All rights reserved.


  • CD66b staining
  • Diagnostic accuracy
  • Intraoperative fresh frozen section (FFS)
  • Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs)


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