The aim of this study was to determine the concentrations of iron, nickel, molybdenum, and vanadium in the knee joint. We also examined the relationships between the concentrations of these metals in the knee joint and the influence of varied factors on the concentration of Fe, Ni, Mo, and V. The study of these trace elements is important, because these elements are used alone and in combination in diet supplements, and they are components of biomaterials implanted in medicine. The study materials, consisting of the spongy bone, cartilage, meniscus, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and infrapatellar fat pad, were obtained from 34 women and 12 men from northwestern Poland. The concentrations of Ni, Fe, Mo, and V were determined using spectrophotometric atomic absorption in inductively coupled argon plasma (ICP-AES). We found significantly higher Mo concentrations in the ACL of women than men. There was a significant difference in the Mo concentration in the spongy bone between patients from cities with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants and patients from cities with more than 100,000 residents. Iron concentrations in the spongy bone were higher in non-smoking patients and those who did not consume alcohol. Vanadium concentrations were higher in the infrapatellar fat pads in abstainers. In patients who had not undergone arthroscopy surgery, V concentration was lower in cartilage. The concentrations of V in the cartilage and infrapatellar fat pad were higher in osteoporotic patients than in non-osteoporotic patients. There were significant differences in Fe concentrations in the meniscus, with the lowest in osteoporotic patients. We noted lower Mo concentrations in the spongy bone of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, we noted some new interactions among metals in the studied structures of the knee joint. The results reported in this study show the influence of gender, place of residence, smoking, consumption of alcohol, arthroscopy surgery, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis on the Fe, Ni, Mo, and V concentrations in the studied structures of the knee joint.
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