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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v18.i1.580
pages 75-83

Explantation and Analysis of the First Retrieved Human Acetabular Cup Made of Polycarbonate Urethane: A Case Report

B. Wippermann
Klinikum Hildesheim GmbH, Klinik für Unfallchirurgie u. Orthopäd. Chir., Hildesheim
Steven M. Kurtz
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA; Exponent Inc., Philadelphia, PA
N. J. Hallab
Exponent, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, USA
Richard Treharne
Dept. Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Tennessee, Memphis TN 38163, Active Implants Corporation, Memphis TN 38120


This report describes the first human retrieval of a polycarbonate-urethane (PCU) acetabular cup implanted for 10.5 months that was revised for pain of unknown origin. By using a micro-CT analysis, the articulating surface was determined to have a wear rate of less than 1.4 mm3 per year. An analysis of the synovial fluid retrieved at the time of revision found an average particle size of 1 μm diameter. Overall, the surgical findings and analysis were consistent with the results observed in laboratory and animal studies. The histology and synovial fluid analysis found sparse evidence of particulate debris and no synovitis, indicating the potential of this articulating material for use as a bearing surface.