Breast Implants Linked to Chronic Pulmonary Silicone Embolism

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Breast Implants Linked to Chronic Pulmonary Silicone Embolism
Breast Implants Linked to Chronic Pulmonary Silicone Embolism

MONDAY, Jan. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic pulmonary silicone embolism related to saline breast implants has been detailed in a letter to the editor published in the January issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Ayush Arora, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues describe the first case of pulmonary silicone embolism related to saline breast implants in a 45-year-old woman. The patient had been repeatedly hospitalized over the course of 14 months with clinical presentation that included acute dyspnea on exertion and fever, and bilateral lung infiltrates on chest radiograph. The patient had undergone bilateral breast augmentation with saline implants 18 years earlier.

The researchers note that on examination, the implants were found to be in place, although there was marked asymmetry of the implants, with the right implant considerably smaller. There was slight but notable distortion of the right implant, with a potion seemingly embedded in the chest wall. Review of pathology slides showed the presence of multiple clear vacuoles surrounded by histiocytes and/or multinucleated giant cells. The morphology was consistent with silicone emboli. The patient was diagnosed with chronic pulmonary silicone emboli and referred for implant removal.

"In summary, silicone microemboli derived from breast implants can potentially embolize to the lung, causing a chronic form of lung disease mimicking interstitial lung disease," the authors write.

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