Metallic joint implants have been used successfully in millions of patients over the past twenty years. One of the most commonly used metals in these prosthetics is titanium, because it is strong, lightweight and corrosion resistant. However, a concern has been raised resulting from issues of unexplained pain and soft tissue reactions in patients with these implants. While there are a number of possible causes, one being evaluated is metal toxicity.
Recently, researchers at two European universities developed a unique test to determine titanium at ultra-trace levels in the human body. Using Agilent’s 8800 triple quad ICP-MS, the researchers used samples from four healthy individuals and four patients with prosthetic hips. The results suggested that implants could cause elevated titanium levels in body fluids even when the implants appeared to be functioning properly.
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