Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

UNLABELLED: Biopsies from a typical case of pseudotumor following metal-on-metal hip resurfacing (MoMHR) were analyzed using light and transmission electron microscopy, backscatter scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry (EDS). Heavy macrophage infiltration was observed in all black pigmented specimens. Metal nanoparticles (NPs) were observed exclusively within phagosomes of living macrophages and fragments of dead macrophages. Although dead fibroblasts were found to be juxtaposed with dead and disintegrated macrophages, the NPs were not seen within either live or dead fibroblasts. Chromium (Cr) but not cobalt (Co) was the predominant component of the remaining wear NPs in tissue. The current study finding suggests that corrosion of Co in phagosomes of macrophages and resultant Co ion release lead to tissue necrosis and adverse soft tissue reactions (pseudotumors). Further studies are required to elucidate the precise mechanism of intracellular corrosion of metal NPs and the long-term toxicity of the Cr remaining in the peri-prosthetic tissues. FROM THE CLINICAL EDITOR: In this study of metal-on-metal hip resurfacing-related tissue necrosis and pseudotumor formation, corrosion and decomposition of metallic cobalt in phagosomes of macrophages and resultant cobalt ion release were demonstrated to be the key elements of pathogenesis.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





674 - 681


Adult, Chromium, Cobalt, Corrosion, Female, Hip, Hip Prosthesis, Humans, Macrophages, Metal Nanoparticles, Phagocytosis, Prosthesis Failure