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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 1/2017

Impact of the body mass index on perioperative immunological disturbances in patients with hip and knee arthroplasty

Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research > Ausgabe 1/2017
Simon Jasinski-Bergner, Anna-Luise Radetzki, Janine Jahn, David Wohlrab, Heike Kielstein



Obesity increases the risk for knee and hip joint implantation and negatively contributes to wound healing. In this study, in 52 patients undergoing hip and knee arthroplasty the amount of peripheral immune effector cells pre- and post-operative, as well as the expression of certain soluble factors affecting the functions of immune effector cells were investigated.


The peripheral immune cells and the expression of the soluble factors were determined by flow cytometry and correlated to each other in dependency of the BMI, the sex, and the kind of arthroplasty.


The pre-operative amounts of peripheral NK cells and cytotoxic T cells significantly decreased with increasing BMI. Furthermore, the expression of the immunomodulatory adipokine leptin nicely correlated to the BMI. These effects were stronger in males than in females. Furthermore, the correlation of the activation marker sTNF-R and peripheral T cells strongly decreased with increasing BMI. While IL-6, CD40L, and MPO were significantly induced after surgery, there were no correlations to the BMI.


The known wound-healing problems in obese patients and the osteoarthritis per se can be linked to the BMI. While obese patients exerted reduced peripheral NK cells and cytotoxic T cells (CTLs), IL-6 showed no involvement. However, the adipokine leptin strongly increased with the BMI strengthening its role as immunomodulatory molecule negatively interfering the functions of immune effector cells.
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