Hip resurfacing arthroplasty is known to increase the metal ion concentration in the serum, urine and whole blood, with potentially adverse effects on the organism. However, only few data are available about the metal ion concentrations in erythrocytes, although they are directly exposed to the higher concentrations of the serum.
The ion levels of chromium, cobalt, nickel and molybdenum in erythrocytes of 25 patients with a hip resurfacing implant were analysed with high resolution ICP-sf-MS (inductively-coupled-plasma-sector-field-mass-spectrometry). The results were compared to the ion levels in the serum and urine of the patients, and also to the ion levels of 27 control persons without an implant.
Compared to the control group, ion levels in the erythrocytes of the hip resurfacing group were markedly increased for cobalt (0.10 vs. 3.26 microg/kg) and slightly for chromium (6.04 vs. 7.38 microg/kg). In contrast, ion levels in the serum of the hip resurfacing group were increased for cobalt (0.21 vs. 1.92 microg/l), chromium (1.48 vs. 5.64 microg/l), nickel (1.53 vs. 4.25 microg/l) and molybdenum (2.17 vs. 3.78 microg/l).
Ion concentrations of cobalt and chromium are also increased in erythrocytes after hip resurfacing arthroplasty. Further research is required to evaluate the impact of the elevated ion levels on the erythrocytes, and to evaluate if metal ions also accumulate in other tissues of the body.
Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2012;25(4):301-6. doi: 10.3415/VCOT-11-09-0132. Epub 2012 Apr 25.