Abstract Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) represents one of the most challenging complications after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Despite the availability of a variety of diagnostic techniques, the diagnosis of PJI remains a challenge due to the lack of well-established diagnostic criteria. The leucocyte esterase (LE) strips test has been proved to be a valuable diagnostic tool for PJI, and its weight in PJI diagnostic criteria has gradually increased. Characterized by its convenience, speed and immediacy, leucocyte esterase strips test has a prospect of broad application in PJI diagnosis. Admittedly, the leucocyte esterase strips test has some limitations, such as imprecision and liability to interference. Thanks to the application of new technologies, such as machine reading, quantitative detection and artificial intelligence, the LE strips test is expected to overcome the limitations and improve its accuracy.