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Study looks at MOM joint fluid markers

By Maureen Leahy – original source

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Patients with adverse reactions to metal debris, also referred to as adverse local tissue reactions (ALTR), from metal-on-metal (MOM) hip implants have markedly elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines in the periarticular fluid compared to patients with polyethylene-induced osteolysis, according to study data presented by Scott T. Ball, MD at the 2011 Annual Meeting.

“The literature has reported on the significant adverse reactions—including pseudotumors, large fluid collections, and necrotic bone and muscle around the hip—to wear debris generated by MOM bearings,” said Dr. Ball. “To our knowledge, however, the inflammatory cytokines (proteins) that drive these adverse reactions have not been previously investigated.”

The researchers hypothesized that the pattern of cytokine expression in patients with ALTR would differ from those in patients with polyethylene-induced osteolysis or osteoarthritis of the hip, thus defining a distinct ‘phenotype’ unique to ALTR.

“Furthermore, we hypothesized that the cytokine profile in patients with ALTR would vary with metal ion levels in the fluid and with the histologic grade found in sections of the periarticular soft tissues,” Dr. Ball explained.