To the Editor.—
Two letters relating to this subject were published recently in The Journal.1,2 The following comments are pertinent to this problem.Barranco and Soloman1 reported a case of eczematous dermatitis from internal exposure to nickel from a stainless steel screw in the patella. (Nickel sensitivity was demonstrated by patch testing: pure nickel, 3% nickel sulfate, and pieces of the stainless steel screw gave positive results; test results were negative with metallic salts such as potassium dichromate, cobalt sulfate, and mercuric chloride.) The stainless steel contained 14% nickel. Following removal of the screws, the dermatitis subsided within 72 hours. This would imply that nickel released from the stainless steel screws (a tenable thesis because Ferguson and co-workers3 and Mears4 have reported increased nickel concentrations in parenchymal tissues from implantation of stainless steel rods containing nickel) produced the allergic reaction. Fisher, on the other hand, rejected
Samitz M, Klein A. Nickel Dermatitis Hazards From Prostheses. JAMA. 1973;223(10):1159. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220100053023
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.