Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Comments on Postmortem study of femoral osteolysis associated with metal-on-metal articulation in total hip replacement: an analysis of nine cases.

I found this study to be very interesting.  It shows that of the 7 revision  patients reviewed in autopsy  who  died between three and ten years after arthroplasty,  six of the seven were asymptomatic at the time of death!  I have no idea how old these people were nor what the other presenting issues were at time of death but I have repeatedly pointed out on this blog that I think there are many patients out there with the MOM hip who have not been tested for anything because they are asymptomatic.
 
The study suggests there may be frequent, unappreciated femoral bone loss and local immunological response in patients with second-generation metal-on-metal hip implants.   Note the words:  frequent and unappreciated......
 
Connie
 
 
J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010 Jul 21;92(8):1720-31.
Institute of Pathology and Bacteriology, SMZ Otto Wagner Spital, Baumgartner Hoehe 1, 1145 Vienna, Austria. Monika.Huber@wienkav.at

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Improved metal-on-metal articulations were reintroduced in total hip replacement to avoid the osteolysis sometimes seen with conventional ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene bearings. Osteolysis and local lymphocytic infiltration have been reported at revision of some metal-on-metal devices. We report similar and additional results in a study of second-generation metal-on-metal hip implants retrieved post mortem.

METHODS: Components and surrounding tissues were collected post mortem from seven patients with nine total hip replacements (Zweymüller SL stem with an Alloclassic cup) with Metasul metal-on-metal articulations. All available patient information was recorded. Radiographs of the hips were evaluated for osteolysis. Sections of joint capsule as well as of the femoral implant with surrounding bone were reviewed, and energy-dispersive x-ray analysis was used to evaluate the composition of wear products. The amount of wear was measured for each component (nine femoral heads and eight cup inserts), when possible, by a coordinate measurement machine with use of the dimensional method.

RESULTS: The patients died between three and ten years after arthroplasty, and six of the seven were asymptomatic at the time of death. One patient, with the highest rate of total wear (i.e., wear of femoral head and acetabular cup; 7.6 microm/yr), had increasing hip pain for one year, and histological analysis confirmed the radiographic findings of osteolysis. For two other patients, histological analysis confirmed the radiographic findings of asymptomatic osteolysis. For three patients, histological analysis revealed osteolysis that had escaped conventional radiographic analysis. Joint capsule tissue showed evidence of metallosis in all hips and local lymphocytic infiltration in eight hips. Energy-dispersive x-ray analysis revealed elements attributable to CoCrMo alloy in all hips and traces of corrosion products in three hips.

CONCLUSIONS: The postmortem findings of osteolysis and/or lymphocytic infiltration associated with eight clinically well-functioning, low wear devices (a total wear rate of <4 microm/yr) suggest there may be frequent, unappreciated femoral bone loss and local immunological response in patients with second-generation metal-on-metal hip implants. Compared with previous postmortem studies, our findings showed the extent of osteolysis was similar to that with metal-on-polyethylene articulations.

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