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Orthopedics. 2013 May;36(5):e606-12. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20130426-23.

Prevalence of adverse reactions to metal debris following metal-on-metal THA.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Tsu City, Mie, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of adverse reactions to metal debris (ARMD) following large-diameter metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty. The authors examined the potential for using magnetic resonance imaging to screen for pseudotumors in 108 hips 2 years postoperatively. Serum cobalt and chromium concentrations were measured in 80 hips that underwent unilateral total hip arthroplasty. The authors considered pseudotumors and aseptic lymphocyte-dominated vasculitis-associated lesions to be ARMD and compared metal ion levels between hips with ARMD (ARMD group) with hips with no ARMD (non-ARMD group). Magnetic resonance imaging revealed pseudotumors in 9 patients (10 hips, 9%). Five of these 10 hips were symptomatic and underwent revision surgery. Two other patients underwent revision surgery due to symptomatic cup loosening with aseptic lymphocyte-dominated vasculitis-associated lesions. Ten patients (12 hips) had ARMD. Serum cobalt and chromium concentrations were significantly higher in hips with ARMD than hips without ARMD. Other factors, including age, body mass index, sex, clinical score, acetabular cup inclination angle, and femoral head diameter, were not significantly different between the groups. Elevated metal ion levels suggest that ARMD is associated with increased metal wear. Magnetic resonance imaging provides sensitive screening for pseudotumors following metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty.

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