Cytokines and osteolysis around total hip prostheses

S. Stea, M. Visentin, D. Granchi, G. Ciapetti, M. E. Donati, A. Sudanese, C. Zanotti, A. Toni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this work is to assess the correlation between the osteolysis around the prosthesis and the presence of cytokines favouring inflammation in the tissues at the interface between loosened prosthesis and bone. In this study, twenty-nine patients that underwent revision surgery were examined. Bioptic samples were collected at the interface between bone and implant both at the stem and socket level. Semiquantitative immunohistochemistry was performed to detect interleukin 1 alpha, interleukin 1 beta, interleakin 6 and tumour necrosis factor, cytokines that directly cause bone resorption and indirectly induce synthesis of other bone resorbing cytokines. Wear particles were identified and quantified by light microscopy. Radiographic evidence for osteolysis was scored by the Engh and Bobyn score. In tissues collected at the interface, the percentage of cells positive to IL1, IL6 and particularly to TNF increased in relation to the tissues collected at the interface with stable components. The cells occurring in the new capsule do not secrete cytokines in quantities that can be related to severity of wear. Cemented prostheses showed higher incidence of severe osteolysis, and higher levels of cytokines. It can be concluded that TNF, and to a lesser extent ILl and IL6, are positively related to the severity of osteolysis around the prosthesis and therefore a pharmacological treatment can be hypothesized with anti-inflammatory or anti-cytokine drugs in order to limit or to avoid prosthesis loosening. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1575-1579
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Cytokine
  • Hip joint
  • Loosening
  • Osteolysis
  • Prosthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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