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Division of Musculoskeletal Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Metal-on-metal (MoM) hiparthroplasty was expected to provide benefits over metal-on-polyethylene systems. After widespread placement of MoM implants, outcomes have been disappointing. MoM implants are associated with higher serum levels of metal ions, adverse periarticular soft tissue reactions, and increased long-term failure rates. In light of these findings, it is crucial that patients with MoM implants be closely monitored for adverse effects. MR imaging is ideally suited for assessment of these patients and complements standard clinical evaluation and laboratory testing. This article reviews the background of MoM implants, emerging data on complications, strategies for using MR imaging, and MR imaging findings in patients with reaction to metal.