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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Metal-Metal Hip Prosthesis and Kidney Cancer: Assumed Role of Chromium and Cobalt Overload

Unusual clinical course, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Valentin Massardier, Mickaël Catinon, Ana-Maria Trunfio-Sfarghiu, Jacques Hubert, Michel Vincent

France Minapath Development, Villeurbanne, France

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e923416

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.923416

Available online: 2020-07-24

Published: 2020-09-03


BACKGROUND: The case of a patient with bilateral renal cancers diagnosed at 94 and 120 months after metal-on-metal hip placement may serve as a warning. It suggests that there may be a need for kidney echography observation of patients with similar types of prostheses.
CASE REPORT: A 61-year-old woman received a metal-on-metal hip prosthesis for degenerative arthritis in January 2007. In November 2014, after bleeding from the renal tract, she was diagnosed with clear cell carcinoma of the right kidney. When she returned to her orthopaedic surgeon 1 year later, a blood test showed a serum cobalt level that exceeded the French medical agency recommendation. After the patient’s metallic acetabulum was replaced in September 2015, her blood cobalt level fell. However, in February 2017, she was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the left kidney. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) showed cobalt, chromium, and silica overload in both the patient’s kidneys despite the drop in serum levels.
CONCLUSIONS: In this case, exposure to a cobalt-chromium implant with high particulate wear, LIBS results showing chromium overload of the kidneys, diagnosis of renal cancer at 7 years, 10 months and 10 years in a patient with a metal-on-metal hip prosthesis suggests that there may be a causal relationship between the implant, carcinogenic chromium intoxication, and development of renal cancer.

Keywords: Hip Prosthesis, Kidney Neoplasms, Metal Nanoparticles, Nephrology