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Ann Thorac Med. 2018 Oct-Dec;13(4):226-229. doi: 10.4103/atm.ATM_80_18.

Porous alumina ceramic sternum: A reliable option for sternal replacement.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Limoges Teaching Hospital, Limoges, France.
Department of R and D, I.Ceram, Limoges, France.
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Reims Teaching Hospital, Reims, France.



To date, there is no gold standard technique for sternum replacement. Current techniques rely on metallic prosthesis, meshes and bars, or bone grafts. However, they have several pitfalls.


The aim of this article is to report the results of sternal replacement with a porous alumina ceramic sternum.


Surgeries were performed in two teaching hospitals in France.


We designed a porous alumina ceramic prosthesis which possesses interesting characteristics for this surgery such as great biocompatibility, a certain level of bacterial resistance, radiolucency, and compatibility with radiotherapy. The implant is stitched to the ribs with suture thread and does not require osteosynthesis material.


Six patients with a mean age of 60.6 years received this prosthesis. Indication was tumor in five cases and mediastinitis in one case. The mean follow-up is 20 months (3-37 months). No major complication occurred and healing was fine for all patients. Patients did not complain of breathing discomfort or pain related to the prosthesis.


This new technique is promising even if there are only six patients in this study.


Alumina; cancer; ceramic; prosthesis; replacement; sternum

Conflict of interest statement

E. Denes is an employee of I. Ceram and hold stocks; Fran├žois Bertin is a member of the scientific committee of I. Ceram. There are no conflicts of interest for the other authors.

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