Titanium allergy or not? "Impurity" of titanium implant materials


For patients suffering from allergies to nickel, chrome and cobalt, titanium implants are the implants of choice. Nevertheless, titanium implant sensitivity has been reported in the form of “allergies” and an increasing number of patients are confused. This paper aims to use spectral analysis as a diagnostic tool for analyzing different titanium implant alloys in order to determine the percentage of the alloy components and additions that are known to cause allergies. Different materials, such as sponge titanium, TiAl6Nb7, Ti21SRx, TiAl6V4 [forged alloy], TiAl6V4 [cast alloy], TMZF, pure titanium [c. p. 1] and iodide titanium were analyzed for the presence of the elements that have been associated with allergic reactions using spectral analysis. All the implant material samples contained traceable amounts of Be, Cd, Co, up to a maximum of 0.001 percent by weight [wt.%], Cr up to 0.033 wt.%, Cu up to 0.007 wt.%, Hf up to 0.035 wt.%, Mn up to 0.007 wt.%, Ni up to 0.031 wt.%, and Pd up to 0.001 wt.%. This paper demonstrates that all the investigated implant material samples contained a low but consistent percentage of components that have been associated with allergies. For example, low nickel contents are related to the manufacturing pro- cess and are completely dissolved in the titanium grid. Therefore, they can virtually be classified as “impurities”. Under certain circumstances, these small amounts may be sufficient to trigger allergic reactions in patients suffering from the corresponding allergies, such as a nickel, palladium or chrome allergy.

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Harloff, T. , Hönle, W. , Holzwarth, U. , Bader, R. , Thomas, P. and Schuh, A. (2010) Titanium allergy or not? "Impurity" of titanium implant materials. Health, 2, 306-310. doi: 10.4236/health.2010.24045.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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