Prospective analysis of human leukocyte functional tests reveals metal sensitivity in patients with hip implant

Csaba Vermes, József Kuzsner, Tamás Bárdos, Péter Than

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The aim of the study was to examine the reactivity of peripheral human leukocytes to various metal ions prior and following hip replacement in order to investigate implant-induced metal sensitivity.Methods: Three patient groups were set up: (1) individuals without implants and no history of metal allergy (7 cases), (2) individuals without implants and known history of metal allergy (7 cases), and (3) patients undergoing cementless hip replacement (40 cases). Blood samples were taken in groups 1 and 2 at three different occasions; in group 3, prior and 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months after surgery. Peripheral leukocytes were separated and left either untreated or challenged with Ti, NiCl2, CoCl2, CrCl3, and phytohemagglutinin. Cell proliferation, cytokine release, and leukocyte migration inhibition assays were performed. Metal-induced reactivity was considered when all three assays showed significant change. Skin patch tests were also carried out.Results: Both skin patch tests and leukocyte functional tests were negative in group 1, and both were positive in group 2. In group 3, after 6 months, 12% of the patients showed reactivity to the tested metals except for NiCl2. Following the 36-month period, 18% of group three became sensitive to metals (including all the earlier 12%). In contrast, patch tests were negative at each time point in group 3.Conclusions: Orthopedic implant material may induce metal reactivity after implantation in a manner where susceptibility is yet to be elucidated. Leukocyte triple assay technique might be a useful tool to test implant material-related sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 16 2013


  • Hip replacement
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Leukocyte assay
  • Metal allergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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