Ultrasound findings in asymptomatic patients with modular metal on metal total hip arthroplasty.

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Skeletal radiology


OBJECTIVE: The use of metal-on-metal and modular total hip arthroplasty is associated with potentially serious local and systemic complications. The primary aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of a pseudotumor in asymptomatic patients with a particular metal-on-metal hip prosthesis after a minimum follow-up of 5 years using ultrasound evaluation. A secondary purpose was to identify associations between the presence of pseudotumor and serum metal ion levels following implantation.

METHODS: We prospectively evaluated data collected from 36 asymptomatic patients who underwent implantation of a Profemur Z metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty from January 2004 to January 2010. Serum metal ion levels were collected in 2012 and 2015. Hip ultrasounds were performed in 2015.

RESULTS: Pseudotumors were found in 7/36 patients (19.4%). The average pseudotumor size measured 38.2 cm3 (range 7.35 cm3-130.81 cm3). Elevated metal ion levels were found in all patients at all time points. No statistical correlation was found between the presence of pseudotumor and patient age, age of the implant, component design, and any of the serum metal ion levels or ratios.

CONCLUSIONS: One in every five asymptomatic patients with metal-on-metal implants was found to have a periarticular pseudotumor. There was no dose-dependent relationship found between elevated serum metal ion levels and the development of a pseudotumor. Our findings suggest that in patients with known elevated metal ion levels, continued monitoring of ion levels may not be a reliable predictor of pseudotumor formation, and ultrasound surveillance can and should be routinely used to document the presence and progression of pseudotumor.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Granuloma, Plasma Cell; Hip Joint; Humans; Male; Metal-on-Metal Joint Prostheses; Metals; Middle Aged; Prevalence; Prospective Studies; Ultrasonography

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