Bone Joint J. 2014 Dec;96-B(12):1610-7. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.96B12.33742.

Adverse reaction to metal debris is more common in patients following MoM total hip replacement with a 36 mm femoral head than previously thought: results from a modern MoM follow-up programme.

Lainiala O, Eskelinen A, Elo P, Puolakka T, Korhonen J, Moilanen T.

We conducted a retrospective study to assess the prevalence of adverse reactions to metal debris (ARMD) in patients operated on at our institution with metal-on-metal (MoM) total hip replacements with 36 mm heads using a Pinnacle acetabular shell. A total of 326 patients (150 males, 175 hips; 176 females, 203 hips) with a mean age of 62.7 years (28 to 85) and mean follow-up of 7.5 years (0.1 to 10.8) participating in our in-depth modern MoM follow-up programme were included in the study, which involved recording whole blood cobalt and chromium ion measurements, Oxford hip scores (OHS) and plain radiographs of the hip and targeted cross-sectional imaging. Elevated blood metal ion levels (> 5 parts per billion) were seen in 32 (16.1%) of the 199 patients who underwent unilateral replacement. At 23 months after the start of our modern MoM follow-up programme, 29 new cases of ARMD had been revealed. Hence, the nine-year survival of this cohort declined from 96% (95% CI 95 to 98) with the old surveillance routine to 86% (95% CI 82 to 90) following the new protocol. Although ARMD may not be as common in 36 mm MoM THRs as in those with larger heads, these results support the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency guidelines on regular reviews and further investigations, and emphasise the need for specific a follow-up programme for patients with MoM THRs.

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