Skin tests catch metal sensitivity before joint replacement

Skin tests catch metal sensitivity before joint replacement
In affected patients, testing allows surgeons to avoid that metal when choosing implants.

(HealthDay) -- Testing patients for metal hypersensitivity before they receive joint or bone implants helps identify those at increased risk for complications due to metal hypersensitivity, a new study shows.

The researchers noted that nickel is a common component in (a mixture of two or more metals) and is also a leading cause of contact (allergic skin reaction) associated with metals.

The study included 31 patients who underwent testing for metal before receiving joint or bone implants (preimplantation group) and 41 who were tested after they received an implant (postimplantation group).

Among those in the preimplantation group, 21 (68 percent) reacted to one metal and 15 reacted to more than one metal. For all patients who reacted to metals, surgeons used an implant that did not include metal. None of these patients developed skin problems or early joint loosening during follow-up.

Among those in the postimplantation group, those with a positive skin patch test were much more likely to have a clinical history of metal hypersensitivity than those without a positive result.

at the site of the implanted metal device was the most common reason why patients in this group were referred for a patch test. Ten patients had at least one positive patch test to a metal that was a component of their implant. Six of those patients had the implant removed and their symptoms ceased. The four patients who did not have their implants removed continued to experience problems.

"In conclusion, the results of this study support the value of patch testing for patients with a clinical history of metal hypersensitivity before in bone or a joint as a safe measure to avoid complications," wrote Dr. Natasha Atanaskova Mesinkovska and colleagues with the Cleveland Clinic, in a journal news release.

"The study confirms the need for surgeons and dermatologists to work together and establish guidelines with a goal to identify patients who would benefit from revisions of previously implanted metal," they added.

The study appeared online Feb. 20 in the journal Archives of Dermatology.

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about joint replacement.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

You have your MoM's ions

Mar 09, 2010

Hip replacement patients with metal-on-metal (MoM) implants (both the socket and hip ball are metal) pass metal ions to their infants during pregnancy, according to a new study presented today at the 2010 Annual Meeting of ...

UK says metal hip replacements more troublesome

Sep 16, 2011

(AP) -- People who get metal hip replacements are more likely to need a replacement compared to those who get a traditional plastic one, according to a new report from a large British registry.

Recommended for you

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

17 hours ago

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

User comments