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Ann Plast Surg. 2005 Jun;54(6):583-9.

The diagnosis of silicone breast-implant rupture: clinical findings compared with findings at magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • 1Danish Cancer Society, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The objective was to evaluate the usefulness of clinical examination in the evaluation of breast-implant integrity, using the diagnosis at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the "gold standard." Fifty-five women with 109 implants underwent a breast examination either just before or shortly after an MRI examination. Twenty-four of 109 implants were clinically diagnosed with possible rupture or rupture. Eighteen of the 24 implants were ruptured according to the MRI examination (75%). Eighty-five implants were clinically classified as intact, and 43 of these were actually ruptured at MRI (51%). The sensitivity of the clinical examination for diagnosing rupture was thus 30% and the specificity 88%. The positive predictive value of a clinical diagnosis of rupture was 75%, and the negative predictive value was 49%. In this study, we found that when a clinical examination is used as the sole diagnostic tool to identify implant rupture, neither the sensitivity nor the specificity is acceptable.

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