Guerin, S., O’Reilly, P., O’Byrne, J. and Kelly, D.J, ‘Hydrogen peroxide as a clinical irrigation solution: A comparative study of the effect of hydrogen peroxide versus normal saline on the strength of the bone-cement interface’ in Biomedical Materials and Engineering, 17,(6), 2007, pp 379 - 386
Biomedical Materials and Engineering 17 6
Hydrogen peroxide has been used for decades as an effervescent haemostatic agent in
arthroplasty. Recently it has been shown to adversely affect the material properties of PMMA.
We aim to assess whether any such deleterious effects are demonstrated in an experimental
model which mimics the clinical use of hydrogen peroxide. Matched pairs of cancellous bone
samples were treated with a swab soaked in either saline or a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide,
prior to manufacture of cement-bone constructs using Palacos or Simplex cement. Thirty pairs
were then compared by subjecting them to a torsional shear force until failure and a further thirty
pairs were tested to failure in tension. There was no significant difference between the mean
torques to failure for the Palacos-peroxide group versus the Palacos-saline group, or the Simplexperoxide
versus the Simplex-saline group (p=0.31 and 0.71 respectively). Similarly there was no
significant difference between the mean tension loads to failure for the Palacos-peroxide group
versus the Palacos-saline group, and the Simplex-peroxide versus the Simplex-saline group
(p=0.79 and 0.23 respectively). We conclude that the use of hydrogen peroxide as an
effervescent haemostatic agent has no detrimental effect on the mechanical integrity of the bonecement
interface when compared to normal saline.
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