Abstract

Previous epidemiologic studies have suggested that there may be a risk of malignancy, especially lymphoma and leukemia, after joint replacement, but the followup has been relatively short. This is a preliminary study to see if there is any biologic basis for such a risk. Blood and bone marrow samples from 71 patients at revision arthroplasty of a loose or worn prosthesis and 30 control patients at primary arthroplasty were analyzed with cytogenetic techniques and molecular biology. There was a higher chromosomal aberration rate in cells adjacent to the prosthesis at revision surgery compared with iliac crest marrow from the same patients or with femoral bone marrow at primary arthroplasty. Clonal expansion of lymphocytes without a serum paraprotein was seen in 2 of 21 patients at revision arthroplasty performed more than 10 years after primary arthroplasty. The results of this preliminary study suggest that future epidemiologic studies should concentrate on patients with longer postoperative intervals to see if there is any risk that would be pertinent to a young patient at primary arthroplasty.

Full-text article