Sister chromatid exchange in patients with joint prostheses

S. Stea, M. Visentin, D. Granchi, L. Savarino, D. Dallari, G. Gualtieri, G. Rollo, A. Toni, A. Pizzoferrato, L. Montanaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The evaluation of sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) is used to establish the cytogenic damage in subjects exposed to toxic substances. The test is considered to be 1 of the most sensitive and accurate indicators of damage and responds to toxic chemicals at low doses. We evaluated the incidence of SCE in peripheral lymphocytes of patients with articular prostheses. Subjects with prostheses made of titanium-aluminium-vanadium alloys presented a significantly higher SCE number than the control population (6.3 ± 2.3 vs 4.4 ± 1.3; P = .0128), whereas subjects with prostheses made of chrome-cobalt alloy or mixed prostheses presented a higher SCE value than the controls but not significantly different. The presence of high-frequency cells was alarming only in 5 patients, 4 of whom had titanium alloy prostheses, whereas none belonged to the control group. The number of SCE was not affected by the presence of bone-cement used in prosthesis fixation or by the implant duration. The indication of possible cytogenic damage in patients with titanium alloy prostheses that emerged from this study should be considered carefully, even though the sample population was small.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-777
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Genotoxicity
  • Joint prostheses
  • Loosening
  • Metal
  • Sister chromatid exchange

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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