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A randomized double-blind noninferiority trial, evaluating migration of a cemented vitamin E-stabilized highly crosslinked component compared with a standard polyethylene component in reverse hybrid total hip arthroplasty

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Radiostereometric analysis (RSA) studies of vitamin E-doped, highly crosslinked polyethylene (VEPE) liners show low head penetration rates in cementless acetabular components. There is, however, currently no data on cemented VEPE acetabular components in total hip arthroplasty (THA). The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of a new cemented VEPE component, compared with a conventional polyethylene (PE) component regarding migration, head penetration, and clinical results.

Patients and Methods

We enrolled 42 patients (21 male, 21 female) with osteoarthritis and a mean age of 67 years (sd 5), in a double-blinded, noninferiority, randomized controlled trial. The subjects were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive a reverse hybrid THA with a cemented component of either argon-gas gamma-sterilized PE component (controls) or VEPE, with identical geometry. The primary endpoint was proximal implant migration of the component at two years postoperatively measured with RSA. Secondary endpoints included total migration of the component, penetration of the femoral head into the component, and patient-reported outcome measurements.


In total, 19 control implants and 18 implants in the VEPE group were analyzed for the primary endpoint. We found a continuous proximal migration of the component in the VEPE group that was significantly higher with a difference at two years of a mean 0.21 mm (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.05 to 0.37; p = 0.013). The total migration was also significantly higher in the VEPE group, but femoral head penetration was lower. We found no difference in clinical outcomes between the groups.


At two years, this cemented VEPE component, although having a low head penetration and excellent clinical results, failed to meet noninferiority compared with the conventional implant by a proximal migration above the proposed safety threshold of RSA. The early proximal migration pattern of the VEPE component is a reason for continued monitoring, although a specific threshold for proximal migration and risk for later failure cannot be defined and needs further study.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2019;101-B:1192–1198

Correspondence should be sent to S. Mukka; email:

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