Article Text


Metal sensitivity causing loosened joint prostheses.
  1. K Christiansen,
  2. K Holmes,
  3. P J Zilko


    Metal sensitivity, as measured by an in-vitro assay on peripheral blood lymphocytes, was evaluated in patients with failed joint prostheses. Lymphocyte transformation to chromium, cobalt, and nickel was measured in 24 patients having revision surgery for a painful or loose prosthesis and compared with that in 11 patients who had a successful hip prothesis in situ for at least 2 years previously. A positive response (lymphocyte stimulation index greater than 3) to at least one of the metals was found in 71% of the revision group compared to 9% of controls (P < 0.01). The positive correlation between prosthesis failure and in-vitro metal sensitivity suggests that cell-mediated immunity to metals to metals may play a role in prosthesis failure. Furthermore, this simple in-vitro test may provide the basis of a useful diagnostic test for an often difficult clinical problem.

    Statistics from

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.