A back table ultraviolet light decreases environmental contamination during operative cases

Published:October 02, 2021DOI:


      • UV-LED has recently been introduced as a potential alternative to traditional UV light.
      • Germicidal UV-LED may decrease environmental contamination near the operative field.
      • This technology has the potential to decrease periprosthetic joint infection.


      The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of a germicidal ultraviolet light-emitting diode (LED) on the contamination level of a back table in the operating room (OR) during total joint arthroplasty procedures.


      Eight Tryptic Soy Agar petri plates were placed on a table located near the operative field and exposed to air. One plate was removed on the hour over an 8-hour time span. The back table had either an UV-LED for disinfection or a sham UV-LED. This process was repeated in 12 different ORs (6 with UV light, 6 with sham device). The plates were then incubated for 48 hours at 36°C ± 1°C . Colony forming units (CFU) were recorded 24 and 48 hours after incubation.


      There was a statistically significant difference in total CFUs between the intervention vs sham at 24-hours (27 vs 95, P = .0001) and 48-hours (38 vs 122, P < .0001). The multivariate analysis revealed that the 24-hour and 48-hour count, the predictors UV light (P = .002) and hour of plate removal (P = .050) were statistically significantly associated with CFU counts. Together, the predictor variables explained 15.8% and 23.0% of the variance in CFU counts at 24- and 48-hours, respectively.


      A back table UV-LED may decrease environmental contamination near the operative field. This has potential to lead to a decrease in joint infection.

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