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Eur J Radiol Open. 2014 Nov 28;2:3-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejro.2014.11.001. eCollection 2015.

Metallosis: A diagnosis not only in patients with metal-on-metal prostheses.

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Medical Imaging Department and Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital of Coimbra, Portugal.
Orthopedics Department, University Hospital of Coimbra, Portugal.


Although the real actual incidence of metallosis is unknown, it is described as a rare diagnosis with a 5% estimated incidence in the hip prosthetic replacements. The adoption of non-metallic articular prosthetic devices, made of polyethylene and ceramic, is the main reason to the diminishing number of reported cases. We present a case of metallosis with a clinical systemic presentation in a patient with a non-metallic hip prosthesis, which occurred due to a fracture of the acetabular liner component, leading to abnormal metal-metal contact. The metallic debris leads to a massive local and systemic release of cytokines. Revision is necessary whenever osteolysis and loosening of the prosthesis occur. Imaging evaluation, especially CT, has a central role in diagnosis and planning the surgical treatment.


Computed tomography; Hip prosthesis; Metallosis

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