Hypersensitivity reactions to implants in orthopaedic and trauma surgery are a rare but devastating complication. They are considered as a delayed-type of hypersensitivity reaction (type IV), characterized by an antigen activation of sensitized T-lymphocytes releasing various cytokines and may result in osteoclast activation and bone resorption. Potential haptens are originated from metal alloys or bone-cement. A meta-analysis has confirmed a higher probability of developing a metal hypersensitivity postoperatively and noted a greater risk of failed replacements compared to stable implants. Hypersensitivity to implants may present with a variety of symptoms such as pain, joint effusion, delayed wound/bone healing, persistent secretion, allergic dermatitis (localized or systemic), clicking noises, loss of joint function, instability and failure of the implant. Various diagnostic options have been offered, including patch testing, metal alloy patch testing, histology, lymphocyte transformation test (LTT), memory lymphocyte immunostimulation assay (MELISA), leukocyte migration inhibition test (LIF) and lymphocyte activation test (LAT). No significant differences between in vivo and in vitro methods have been found. Due to unconvincing evidence for screening methods, predictive tests are not recommended for routine performance. Infectious aetiology always needs to be excluded. As there is a lack of evidence on large-scale studies with regards to the optimal treatment option, management currently relies on individual case-by-case decisions. Several options for patients with (suspected) metal-related hypersensitivity exist and may include materials based on ceramic, titanium or oxinium or modified surfaces. Promising results have been reported, but long-term experience is lacking. More large-scaled studies are needed in this context. In patients with bone-cement hypersensitivity, the component suspected for hypersensitivity should be avoided. The development of (predictive) biomarkers is considered as a major contribution for the future.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Hypersensitivity reaction, Implant material, Arthroplasty