Self-reported systemic complaints in patients with metal-on-metal hip arthroplasty

Jetse Jelsma*, Martijn Schotanus, Henne Kleinveld, Bernd Grimm, Ide Heyligers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: An increase in blood serum metal ion levels is seen after implantation of all metal-on-metal (MoM) hip prosthesis. Systemic complaints contributed to raised cobalt ion concentrations in patients with MoM arthroplasty may lead to a variety of symptoms. The aim of this study is to investigate self-reported systemic complaints in association with cobalt ion concentrations in patients with any type of MoM hip prosthesis. Methods: A cohort study was conducted. Patients with both unilateral and bilateral, resurfacing and large head metal on metal total hip arthroplasties (LHMoM THA) were included. Cobalt ion concentrations were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Based on the known cobalt toxicity symptoms of case-reports and toxicology reports a new non-validated questionnaire was developed. Analysis was performed on two groups; a low cobalt ion concentration group and a high cobalt ion concentration group. Results: A total of 62 patients were included with a mean age at surgery of 60.8 ± 9.3 years and a mean follow up of 6.3 ± 1.4 years. Mean cobalt ion concentrations were 104 ± 141 nmol/L (9–833). Based on the different thresholds (120–170 or 220 nmol/L) the low cobalt ion concentration group consisted of 44 (71%), 51 (82%) or 55 (89%) subjects respectively. In the 120 nmol/L and 170 nmol/L thresholds a significant difference in age was found. The composite score for OVS increased from 54% to 57%–68% with rising threshold value, a hint at the correlation between ion concentration and symptom prevalence Discussion: Ocular-vestibular symptoms were more common in high cobalt ion concentration groups for the three threshold levels tested and with increasing prevalence for higher threshold values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Orthopaedics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cobalt concentrations
  • Cobalt intoxication
  • MoM hip arthroplasty
  • Systemic symptoms


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