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Cellular response to prosthetic wear debris differs in patients with and without rheumatoid arthritis

Vasudevan A et al. – Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) exhibited a distinct cellular response to implant wear debris compared with patients without RA. This reaction was unrelated to differences in the type or amount of wear debris and was mitigated by anti–TNF therapy. These results suggest an intrinsic alteration in immunoregulation in RA and have implications for potential immunologic treatment of osteolysis in these patients.

Methods
  • Thirty–eight patients who had undergone a primary revision of a total elbow arthroplasty for aseptic loosening between 1996 and 2008 were identified.
  • Twenty–five of these patients had RA, and 13 did not have inflammatory arthritis.
  • Clinical data, gross wear patterns of the removed prostheses, and histopathologic analyses of peri–implant tissue were compared between the patients with RA and those without RA.

Results
  • Evaluation of the retrieved prostheses showed that conformational change of the humeral polyethylene bushing was associated with the generation of polyethylene and metal particles.
  • The amount and type of wear debris in periprosthetic tissues were similar in patients with and those without RA.
  • Patients with RA who were not receiving anti–tumor necrosis factor (anti–TNF) therapy exhibited a histologic pattern of interstitial and sheet–like lymphocytic infiltrates associated with a high plasma cell composition, which was different from the predominantly perivascular infiltrates with few plasma cells seen in non–RA patients (P = 0.04).
  • Patients with RA who were receiving anti–TNF therapy showed a mixed perivascular and interstitial pattern of infiltrates with variable cell composition.
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