Metallosis: A diagnosis not only in patients with metal-on-metal prostheses

Eur J Radiol Open. 2014 Nov 28;2:3-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejro.2014.11.001. eCollection 2015.


Although the real actual incidence of metallosis is unknown, it is described as a rare diagnosis with a 5% estimated incidence in the hip prosthetic replacements. The adoption of non-metallic articular prosthetic devices, made of polyethylene and ceramic, is the main reason to the diminishing number of reported cases. We present a case of metallosis with a clinical systemic presentation in a patient with a non-metallic hip prosthesis, which occurred due to a fracture of the acetabular liner component, leading to abnormal metal-metal contact. The metallic debris leads to a massive local and systemic release of cytokines. Revision is necessary whenever osteolysis and loosening of the prosthesis occur. Imaging evaluation, especially CT, has a central role in diagnosis and planning the surgical treatment.

Keywords: Computed tomography; Hip prosthesis; Metallosis.