2008 John Charnley Award: Metal Ion Levels After Metal-on-Metal Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Randomized Trial
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- Engh, C.A., MacDonald, S.J., Sritulanondha, S. et al. Clin Orthop Relat Res (2009) 467: 101. doi:10.1007/s11999-008-0540-9
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Metal-on-metal bearing total hip arthroplasty is performed more commonly than in the past. There may be manufacturing differences such as clearance, roughness, metallurgy, and head size that affect performance. In a prospective, randomized trial, we compared 2-year postoperative ion levels for a 28-mm metal-on-polyethylene bearing with 28-mm and 36-mm metal-on-metal bearings. We measured serum, erythrocyte, and urine ion levels. We observed no difference in the ion levels for the 28-mm and 36-mm metal-on-metal bearings. The ion levels in these patients were lower than reported for most other metal-on-metal bearings. Although both erythrocyte and serum cobalt increased, erythrocyte chromium and erythrocyte titanium did not increase despite a four- to sixfold serum chromium and a three- to fourfold serum titanium increase. This may represent a threshold level for serum chromium and serum titanium below which erythrocytes are not affected.
Level of Evidence: Level I, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.