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Does cross-linked polyethylene decrease the revision rate of total hip arthroplasty compared with conventional polyethylene? A meta-analysis - 01/10/14

Doi : 10.1016/j.otsr.2014.07.015 
C. Shen , Z.-H. Tang, J.-Z. Hu, G.-Y. Zou, R.-C. Xiao, D.-X. Yan
 Department of Orthopedics, Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical College, 541001 Guilin, Guangxi, China 

Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 1 39 07 83 89 66.

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Abstract

Background

Although cross-linked polyethylene is resistant to wear in comparison to conventional polyethylene, it remains unknown whether it can decrease the wear-related revision rate of total hip arthroplasty.

Objectives

To determine whether cross-linked polyethylene decreases the wear-related revision rate of total hip arthroplasty compared with conventional polyethylene.

Data sources

Electronic databases, including PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, were queried from inception to July 6, 2013.

Study selection

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing cross-linked polyethylene with conventional polyethylene were included. In addition, the standard 28-mm femoral head was used, and follow-up was performed for a minimum of 5 years. The primary outcome assessed was wear-related revision. The secondary outcome measures evaluated were the incidence of osteolysis, the linear wear rate, and the linear head penetration.

Data synthesis

The Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing the risk of bias was used for quality assessment. Data from eligible studies were pooled using a random effects model.

Results

Eight studies involving 735 patients were included in this study. Meta-analysis showed there was no significant difference between cross-linked and conventional polyethylene group in terms of osteolysis or wear-related revision. The pooled mean differences were significantly less for the linear wear rate and linear head penetration for cross-linked polyethylene than for conventional polyethylene.

Limitations

The studies differed with respect to the cross-linked liner brands, manufacturing processes, and radiological evaluation methods. Moreover, the follow-up periods of the RCTs were not long enough.

Conclusions

The current limited evidence suggests that cross-linked polyethylene significantly reduced the radiological wear compared with conventional polyethylene at midterm follow-up periods. However, there is no evidence that cross-linked polyethylene had an advantage over conventional polyethylene in terms of reducing osteolysis or wear-related revision. Nevertheless, future long-term RCTs on this topic are needed.

Key findings

Cross-linked polyethylene significantly reduced radiological wear but not osteolysis or wear-related revision in comparison to conventional polyethylene at midterm follow-up periods.

Level of evidence

Level I, systematic review of level I studies.

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Keywords : Total hip arthroplasty, Polyethylene, Cross-linked, Meta-analysis


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