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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 763096, 11 pages
Clinical Study

Measurement of the Silver Ion Concentration in Wound Fluids after Implantation of Silver-Coated Megaprostheses: Correlation with the Clinical Outcome

1Trauma Surgery Department, University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstraße 55, 45122 Essen, Germany
2Orthopaedic Department, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstraße 55, 45122 Essen, Germany

Received 1 April 2013; Accepted 15 May 2013

Academic Editor: Kurt G. Naber

Copyright © 2013 B. Hussmann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Tumor patients and patients after traumas are endangered by a reduced immune defense, and a silver coating on their megaprostheses may reduce their risks of infection. The aim of this study was to determine the silver ion concentration directly measured from the periprosthetic tissue and the influence on the clinical outcome. Material and Methods. Silver ions were evaluated in 5 mL wound fluids two days postoperatively and in blood patients 7 and 14 days after surgery using inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry in 18 patients who underwent total joint replacement with a silver-coated megaendoprosthesis. Results. The concentration of silver ions averaged 0.08 parts per million. Patients who showed an increased silver concentration in the blood postoperatively presented a lower silver concentration in the wound fluids and a delayed decrease in C-reactive protein levels. There were significantly fewer reinfections and shorter hospitalization in comparison with a group that did not receive a silver-coated megaprosthesis. Conclusion. An increased concentration of silver in the immediate surroundings of silver-coated prostheses was demonstrated for the first time in cohorts of patients with trauma or tumors. An elevated concentration of silver ions in the direct periprosthetic tissue may have reduced the infection rate.