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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2004 May;86(4):598-606.

Wear debris from hip or knee replacements causes chromosomal damage in human cells in tissue culture.

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Bristol Implant Research Centre, Avon Orthopaedic Centre, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, England, UK.


Wear debris was extracted from 21 worn hip and knee replacements. Its mutagenic effects were tested on human cells in tissue culture using the micronucleus assay and fluorescent in situ hybridisation. The extracted wear debris increased the level of micronuclei in a linear dose-dependent manner but with a tenfold difference between samples. The concentration of titanium +/- vanadium and aluminium within the wear debris was linearly related both to the level of centromere-positive micronuclei in tissue culture, indicating an aneuploid event, and to the level of aneuploidy in vivo in peripheral blood lymphocytes. The concentration of cobalt and chromium +/- nickel and molybdenum in the wear debris correlated with the total index of micronuclei in tissue culture, both centromere-positive and centromere-negative i.e. both chromosomal breakage and aneuploidy events. The results show that wear debris can damage chromosomes in a dose-dependent manner which is specific to the type of metal. The results from studies in vitro correlate with those in vivo and suggest that the wear debris from a worn implant is at least partly responsible for the chromosomal damage which is seen in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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