Condensation or summary of a scientific article.


Failure of the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach to relax during swallowing.

Adaptive immunity

Resistance or sensitization to infection or to a foreign substance that is acquired, not innate; depends on experience with the infection or foreign substance; and leads to an ability to react to the infection or substance in the future.


Enlargement of glands; see Lymphadenopathy.


Pertaining to fat or fatty (e.g., adipose tissue).


Substance that enhances the immune response to an antigen.

Adrenal steroid

Hormone of the cortex of the adrenal gland with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activities, among others; a corticosteroid.


Requiring oxygen, growing in the presence of oxygen.


Any of different genes at the same location on the chromosome; different genes or alleles are referred to as heterozygous; the same genes or alleles, homozygous, for the gene product or trait.


Pertaining to an inert foreign body used for implantation into tissue.


Growing in the absence of oxygen.


Immune protein (immunoglobulin) formed in response to, and reacting specifically with, an antigen, or occurring naturally (e.g., immunoglobulin [Ig], IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, or IgM).


Any substance capable of inducing a specific or adaptive immune response and of reacting with the products (a specific antibody, specific T lymphocyte, or both) of that response.


Programmed cell death.


Pain in a joint.


Inflammation of a joint.

Atomic weight

Mass in grams of 1 mole (6.02 x 1023 atoms) of an atomic species.


Wasting of tissues, organs, or the whole body.


In this report, placement of an implant for the purpose of enlarging or changing the appearance of the breast.


Antibody directed against a self-antigen.

Autogenous tissue

Originating within the body.


Describing a graft in which the donor and recipient is the same individual.

Axilla, axillary

Armpit, of the armpit.

B lymphocyte

Cell representing 1530% of circulating lymphocytes, responsible for antibody.


Deviation of results or inferences from the truth, or processes leading to such deviation.


(of implant) Diffusion of silicone fluid into and through the silicone shell of a silicone gel-filled implant.

Breast augmentation classification
Class I

Augmented breast feels as soft as an unoperated one.

Class II

Breast is less soft and implant can be palpated, but is not visible.

Class III

Breast is more firm, implant can be palpated easily, and it (or distortion from it) can be seen.

Class IV

Breast is firm, hard, tender, painful, and cold; distortion is often marked.


Closed sac lined with synovium and filled with fluid found or formed in areas subject to friction (e.g., where a tendon passes over bone).


Membranous structure, usually dense collagenous connective tissue enveloping another organ, joint, or part; in this report, the capsule found around an implant.


Surgical removal of a capsule.

Carcinogenesis, carcinogenicity

Production of cancer; ability to cause cancer.


Any type of malignant tumor arising from epithelial cells such as lung, intestine, or skin.

CAS number

Chemical Abstracts Service number; a method for identifying chemicals.

Case control study

Epidemiological method that identifies cases of disease and compares their past history of exposure to risk factors to the exposure of similar people without the disease.


Form of necrosis in which tissue contains protein and fat that looks cheese-like.


One-hundredth of a meter, or approximately four-tenths of an inch.


Broad spectrum antibiotic.

Closed capsulotomy

Creation of opening in a breast implant capsule by external compression.


Anaerobic bacterium (e.g., tetanus).

Cohort study

Epidemiological method that prospectively follows a group with a condition and compares its outcomes to those of a group without the condition.


Protein substance of the white fibers of connective tissue, cartilage, or bone.

Confidence interval (CI)

Range within which the true value is most likely found .(e.g., 95% CI means value is within range 95% of the time).

Connective tissue

Collagenous or fibrous tissue surrounding and separating muscles, organs, and other body parts (e.g., fascia).

Connective tissue disease

Chronic inflammatory disease with presumed autoimmune components involving the musculoskeletal system and multiple other organs (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma).


Shrinkage or reduction in size; in this report, contraction of the breast implant collagenous, fibrous tissue capsule.

Cross-sectional study

Analysis of a large group at one point in time.

Cubic centimeter

Unit of volume equal to one-thousandth of a liter, one milliliter, or approximately 1/30 of a fluid ounce.


Hormone-like, low molecular weight protein secreted by many cell types that regulates cell-to-cell interactions and features of the immune response (e.g., lymphokine, monokine).

Dalton (Da)

Unit of mass equal to 1.0 in the atomic mass scale.


In this report, loss of saline from a saline-filled implant with partial or complete implant collapse.

Dermatomyositis, polymyositis

Chronic inflammatory disease of muscle.


Layer of skin under the epidermis, consisting of a dense bed of vascular connective tissue.


Adhesion site between two cells with a dense attachment plaque on both sides.


In this report, an implant, prosthesis, or appliance designed to perform a specific function, a silicone breast implant.


Accumulation of excessive fluid in tissues.


In this report, a cross-linked solid silicone reinforced with amorphous silica, an implant shell.


Ionizable substance in solution (e.g., salt existing as Na+ and C1-in plasma, tissue fluid, or saline-filled implants).


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, an immunochemical test.


Any plug (often a clot) carried by the circulation from one blood vessel to a smaller vessel that becomes occluded, thus interrupting circulation to the tissue served by that blood vessel.


White cell (leukocyte) with lobed nucleus and red-yellow staining granules that is associated with allergic or antiparasitic functions.


Loosening of the outermost layers of skin (epidermis) with the formation of blisters.


Pertaining to cells, usually in layers, that cover internal or external body surfaces and line blood vessels and other cavities in the body.

Explant, explantation

In this report, an implant removed from the body, the act of doing so.


Oozing of fluid gradually out of body tissue or structure, usually because of injury or inflammation.


Sheet or band of fibrous, connective tissue that lies under the skin or encloses muscles and other organs.


Connective tissue cell that can form collagen.

Fibrocystic disease

Condition common in women and characterized by pain and multiple cysts in the breast.


Syndrome characterized by chronic diffuse pain and tender points that occurs predominantly in women.


Abnormal passage between organs or to the body surface.


Population of microorganisms, bacteria, or fungi.


Aqueous solution of formaldehyde (37%) used as a tissue preservative or fixative.


Cystic enlargement in the breast that contains milk.


Abnormal lactation.


Condition. marked by disturbed immunoglobulin synthesis.


Forced feeding by stomach tube.


In this report, a lightly cross-linked, spongy silicone permeated with a lower weight silicone fluid.


Antibiotic that is particularly effective against gram-negative aerobic bacteria.

Giant cell (foreign body)

Large cell with multiple nuclei distributed throughout the cytoplasm formed by macrophages and seen around foreign bodies.


Unit of weight, 1/28th of an ounce, the weight of one milliliter of water at 4°C.


Nodular chronic inflammatory lesion, consisting of various cells such as mononuclear cells, epithelioid cells, giant cells, lymphocytes, eosinophils, and plasma cells.


Localized collection of blood, usually clotted, in an organ, tissue, or body space.


Iron-containing protein, produced by phagocytic digestion of blood iron protein.

HEp-2 cells

Human epithelial tissue culture cells that provide sensitive assay for antinuclear antibodies.


Enlargement of the liver.

High temperature vulcanized (HTV)

In this report, cross-linked silicone molecules producing a higher molecular weight, firmer silicone made at high temperature (115-150°C).




Microscopic anatomy.

Human adjuvant disease

Rheumatic signs or symptoms presumably due to immune or adjuvant response to silicone, as in adjuvant disease in rodents; a misnomer.

Human lymphocyte antigen (HLA)

Substance capable of inducing immune response and present on most human cells (HLA-A, B, and C) or only on human immune cells (HLA-D) that has been shown to have a strong influence on human transplantation and association with certain human diseases.


Tissue microscopic method using antibody labeled with a dye that glows under fluorescent light; direct, the antibody is directed against the test substance itself; indirect, the antibody is directed against an immunoglobulin that reacts with the test substance.


Local tissue protective response to injury involving dilation of blood vessels, fluid exudation, and migration of white cells.

Innate immunity

Immunity based on the genetic constitution of the individual, nonspecific and not requiring or enhanced by prior exposure.


Relating to spaces in tissue. Intraperitoneal Within the abdominal cavity.

In vitro

In an artificial (e.g., laboratory) environment.

In vivo

Within the living body.


Concentration that kills half of the cells.


Mean lethal dose.

Leakage (of implant)

Loss of implant filler through a breach in the implant shell (as opposed to bleed or gel fluid diffusion).


Volume equal to 1.0567 quarts, a thousand cubic centimeters or milliliters.

Low bleed

In this report, an implant or implant shell fabricated to lessen bleed, or gel fluid diffusion, into and through the silicone elastomer shell.


Interior space, for example, the inside of a breast implant.


Enlargement of lymph glands or nodes.


Monocytic cell in tissue that is large, ingests foreign bodies, and is involved in immune and other tissue functions.


Visible with the unaided eye.


Pertaining to tissues formed of embryonic connective tissue (e.g., connective tissue, blood and lymphatic vessels).


Length equal to 39.37 inches.


Synthetic adrenal cortical steroid.


One-millionth of a gram. Microscopic Extremely small, visible only with a microscope.

Microsurgical flap

Mass of tissue, dissected free and connected to blood vessels at a new site by using low-power microscopic magnification.


One-thousandth of a gram.


One-thousandth of a liter, or one cubic centimeter.


One-thousandth of a meter, or 4/100 of an inch.


In this report, stiffness or hardness of silicone, adjustable by cross-linking.


Weight Sum of atomic weights of all the atoms that constitute a molecule.


Derived from a single cell.


Mononuclear phagocytic cell formed in bone marrow and transported to tissues to become a macrophage.


Localized scleroderma, characterized by thickened dermal fibrous tissue plaques.

Musculocutaneous flap

Compound flap of skin and muscle with adequate blood supply to permit a sufficient graft to be transferred.


Pain in a muscle or muscles.


Slow-growing bacteria with certain staining characteristics (e.g., tuberculosis).

Myeloma, multiple myeloma

Plasma cell tumor or plasma cell malignancy originating in bone marrow and producing an abnormal protein, usually a monoclonal IgG.


Inflammation of a voluntary muscle.


One-billionth of a gram.


One-billionth of a meter.


Pathologic death of one or more cells, a tissue, or an organ.


Abnormal tissue growth; benign tumor or cancer.


Inflammation of a nerve with pain, tenderness, anesthesia, and paralysis.


Functional disturbance or pathological change in the peripheral nervous system, generally not inflammatory.

Odds ratio

Estimate of the relative risk, usually calculated for data from case control studies.


Membrane (of peritoneum) that passes from the stomach to the intestine.

Open capsulotomy

Incision or opening in a breast implant capsule made by an open surgical approach.

Osmotic pressure

Pressure required to stop solvent from moving through a membrane toward the higher concentration of solute.


Given by injection into other than the gastrointestinal tract.

Parts per million (ppm)

Concentrations of vapors in air are usually expressed in ppm, a gas volume ratio, which can be converted to mass concentration (e.g., mg/m3) by dividing molecular weight in grams x concentration in ppm by 0.0245.

Pectoral muscles (pectoralis major, pectoralis minor)

Muscles from the front of the chest to the upper arm, collar bone, and shoulder blade that rotate the arm toward the midline and pull it forward and downward; when used to cover an implant, the implant is referred to as submuscular or subpectoral.


Stalk in a flap through which the blood supply passes.

Peer reviewed

Examined by those with expertise for accuracy, relevance, and other measures of scientific quality.


Connective tissue layer covering bone.

Peritoneal cavity

Abdominal cavity lined with peritoneum, a smooth thin membrane investing its organs and walls.


Symbol for acidity (less than 7) or alkalinity (greater than 7); pH 7 is neutral.

Phagocytic, phagocytosis

Pertaining to cells that ingest microorganisms, cell fragments, or small particles, the process in which this occurs.


Pertaining to movement of drugs within the body.

Plasma cell

Cell derived from a B lymphocyte that is active in producing antibody.


Inflammation of the lung.


Accumulation of air in the chest cavity, inside the chest but not in the lung.


Derived from different cells.


Substance of high molecular weight made up of a chain of repeated units.


Occurrence in more than one form, varying genes, or alleles at the same chromosomal location.


Having a deeply lobed nucleus that appears multiple, as in a polymorphonuclear leukocyte, an acute inflammatory, circulating white cell.


Back of the knee.


Device or artificial substitute for a body part.


Prolapse or drooping.


Relatively penetrable by x-rays.


Relatively impenetrable by x-rays.

Raynauds phenomenon

Sudden reversible pallor of fingers, hand, toes, or tip of the nose caused by cold.


In this report, reforming of the breast with an alloplastic device, autogenous tissue, or both.

Relative risk

Ratio of disease incidence in those with a risk factor to incidence in those without the risk factor.


Pertaining to the kidney.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Chronic inflammatory disease of unknown cause affecting multiple joints.

Room temperature vulcanized (RTV)

In this report, cross-linked silicone molecules producing a higher molecular weight, firmer silicone made at room temperature.


In this report, a breach of any size in the integrity of a silicone breast implant shell.


Malignant tumor of connective tissue, formed by proliferation of mesodermal cells.

Scleroderma (Ssc)

Chronic inflammatory disease characterized by thickening, tightening, nonpitting hardening of the skin of both extremities and trunk.


True-positive results as a proportion of the total of true-positive and false-negative results (i.e., the likelihood of detecting a condition).


Cystic accumulation of serous (similar to blood serum) fluid in tissue.


Passage or anastomosis between two natural channels; diversion of an accumulation of fluid to an absorbing or excreting system.



Silica, amorphous

Very finely divided, noncrystalline silicon dioxide.

Silica, crystalline

Silicon dioxide in organized crystalline form.


Shiny silvery element with an atomic weight of 28.


Compound or polymer of silicon, oxygen, and carbon (e.g., polydimethylsiloxane, PDMS).

Sjogrens syndrome (SS)

Chronic inflammatory disease, or syndrome accompanying other diseases, and characterized by dryness of the mouth and eyes.


True-negative results as a proportion of the total of true-negative and false-positive results (i.e., the likelihood that a positive result is accurate).


See Adrenal steroid.


Beneath the skin, but above the fascia and muscle.

Subglandular (retroglandular)

In this report, referring to the position of a breast implant under the mammary gland, but on top of the muscles of the chest.

Submammary (retromammary)


Submuscular (retromuscular)

In this report, referring to the position of a breast implant wholly or partially under the muscles on the front of the chest (e.g., pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, or serratus anterior).

Subpectoral (retropectoral)



Aggregate of signs and symptoms that together constitute the picture of a disease.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Chronic inflammatory disease affecting multiple organs, joints, kidney, heart, and blood vessels.

T lymphocyte

Cell representing 70-85% of circulating lymphocytes that produces cytokines and is responsible for cellular immunity, delayed hypersensitivity, and graft rejection.


Agent that causes abnormal fetal development.


Amount of a substance that can be manipulated by serial dilution (e.g., 1:40, 1:80, 1:160).

Toxic shock syndrome

Infection, primarily with Staphylococcus aureus , often around foreign bodies, characterized by diarrhea, flaking skin rash, fever, shock, and substantial mortality.


Synthetic adrenal cortical steroid.

Urethra, urethral

Canal from the urinary bladder to the exterior of the body, pertaining to this canal.


Inflammation of a blood vessel or vessels (e.g., as seen in connective tissue disease).

Visceral peritoneum

Membrane lining the internal organs of the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity.


  1. Dictionary of the Rheumatic Diseases. American Rheumatism Association; 1988.
  2. Dorlands Illustrated Medical Dictionary. W. B. Sanders Company; 1994.
  3. Segen JC. The Dictionary of Modem Medicine. Parthenon Publishing Group; 1992.
  4. Stedmans Medical Dictionary. Williams and Wilkins; 1995.