Scientists from ExplantLab have identified a genotype that is associated with joint replacement failure in some patients. Based on these findings, the scientists developed a machine-learning algorithm called Orthotype, which uses a patient’s genotype and other factors to accurately predict the outcome of joint replacement surgery.
More than five million joint replacements are performed globally each year. Although most patients are satisfied with the results of their surgery, a significant number of joint replacements fail early, following adverse immune responses.
One of the most popular implant materials used in joint replacements is cobalt chrome (CoCr). When small particles from CoCr joints are released into the blood, it can lead to an immune response that results in pain and joint failure in some patients.
“Essentially, the immune system attacks the implant in a process similar to how a patient rejects an organ transplant,” explained David Langton, PhD, director of ExplantLab. “How quickly this happens is variable and unpredictable, but it appears to be dependent on the type of material, the amount of wear debris released, and other patient-specific factors.”
One of those patient-specific factors is their genes. The HLA genes play a central role in immune function, and Langton and his colleagues determined that patients with certain HLA genotypes are likely to develop responses to CoCr-containing implants. Their results were published in Communications Medicine.
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