Authors:R. Michel, F. Löer, M. Nolte, M. Reich, and J. Zilkens
In order to describe the impact of corrosion of medical implants on the trace element balance of man samples of blood, serum and of a variety of tissues and organs were analysed for their trace element composition using instrumental neutron activation techniques. By the analysis of blood and serum the trace element status after long-term implantation as well as its dependence on time after implantation was investigated. Using autopsy samples of human organs such as heart, spleen, liver, of aorta and of lymphatic tissue from the lower pelvis transport and storage of the corrosion products was studided. These investigations were supplemented by a comprehensive study of normal human blood, serum, tissues and organs from patients without implants. The results demonstrate that there are high enrichments of corrosion products in several tissues and organs and that also blood and serum reveal the presence of the metal implants in the trace element levels, increasing shortly after implantation and pertaining during the entire implantation time. Thus the corrosion of metallic implants is a process not only affecting tissues from the vicinity of the implants but also influencing the trace element balance of the entire organism.