Zirconium: Biomedical and Nephrological Applications

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Abstract

Recent years have witnessed a rapid increase in the use of zirconium (Zr)-containing compounds in artificial internal organs. Examples include dental implants and other restorative practices, total knee and hip replacement, and middle-ear ossicular chain reconstruction. In nephrological practice, Zr-containing sorbents have been used in hemofiltration, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and in the design and construction of wearable artificial kidneys. Zr compounds continue to be widely and extensively used in deodorant and antiperspirant preparations. In the public health arena, Zr compounds have been studied or used in controlling phosphorus pollution and in the reclamation of poison and bacteria-contaminated water. Experimental and clinical studies support the general consensus that Zr compounds are biocompatible and exhibit low toxicity. Reports on possible Zr-associated adverse reactions are rare and, in general, have not rigorously established a cause-and-effect relationship. Although publications on the use of Zr compounds have continued to increase in recent years, reports on Zr toxicity have virtually disappeared from the medical literature. Nevertheless, familiarity with, and continued vigilant monitoring of, the use of these compounds are warranted. This article provides an updated review on the biomedical use of Zr compounds.

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