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Tribological and Metal Ion Issues   |    
Metal Ion Levels in the Blood of Patients After Hip Resurfacing: A Comparison Between Twenty-eight and Thirty-six-Millimeter-Head Metal-on-Metal Prostheses
John Antoniou, MD, PhD, FRCSC1; David J. Zukor, MD, FRCSC1; Fackson Mwale, PhD1; William Minarik, PhD2; Alain Petit, PhD1; Olga L. Huk, MD, MSc, FRCSC1
1 Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, SMBD-Jewish General Hospital, 3755, Chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine, Montréal, QC H3T 1E2, Canada. E-mail address for J. Antoniou: janton@orl.mcgill.ca
2 Geochemical Laboratories, Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University, 3450 University Street, Montréal, QC H3A 2A7, Canada
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Disclosure: In support of their research for or preparation of this work, one or more of the authors received, in any one year, outside funding or grants in excess of $10,000 from the Orthopaedic Research Fund, SMBD-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, division, center, clinical practice, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors, or a member of their immediate families, are affiliated or associated.

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2008 Aug 01;90(Supplement 3):142-148. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.H.00442
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Abstract

Background: Metal ion toxicity, metal hypersensitivity, and metal carcinogenicity are causes for concern for patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements. Thus, understanding the biological fate of metal ions, and consequently their long-term systemic effects, is of great interest to patients and surgeons alike.

Methods: Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to measure the levels of cobalt, chromium, and molybdenum ions in the blood of control patients (preoperative control pre-resurfacing patients), patients with a metal-on-polyethylene total hip prosthesis, patients with a metal-on-metal total hip prosthesis with either a 28 or 36-mm femoral head, and patients with a hip resurfacing prosthesis. Since cobalt and chromium ions have the potential to induce oxidative stress through irreversible biochemical damage to macromolecules, the levels of ions were correlated to the concentration of three oxidative stress markers in the plasma of these patients.

Results: The median cobalt level was significantly lower (p < 0.001) in the 36-mm metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty group (1.8 parts per billion [1.8 µg/L]) compared with the 28-mm metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty group (2.5 parts per billion [2.5 µg/L]) and the hip resurfacing group (2.3 parts per billion [2.3 µg/L]) at six months postoperatively. The median chromium level was also significantly lower (p < 0.01) in the 36-mm metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty group (0.25 parts per billion [0.25 µg/L]) compared with the 28-mm metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty group (0.35 parts per billion [0.35 µg/L]) and the hip resurfacing group (0.50 parts per billion [0.50 µg/L]) at six months postoperatively. However, neither the median cobalt levels nor the median chromium levels were significantly different among the three metal-on-metal groups at one year. The median levels of molybdenum were not significantly different among the three groups at either six months or one year. In addition, there was no significant difference in the plasma concentration of oxidative stress markers in patients with metal-on-metal bearings compared with that in control patients.

Conclusions: The blood metal ion levels in the hip resurfacing group were similar to those in the 28 and 36-mm-head metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty groups. This study suggests that the increased metal ion levels had no effect on oxidative stress markers in the blood of these patients.

Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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