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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2008 Jul;61(7):822-5. Epub 2007 May 16.

Primary breast lymphoma in a patient with silicone breast implants: a case report and review of the literature.

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Division of Plastic Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, 1200 East Broad Street, P.O. Box 980154, Richmond, VA 23298-0154, USA.


Primary breast lymphoma is a rare disease. Estimated incidence is 72 to 910 cases per year. We report a patient who developed anaplastic large cell lymphoma in her breast adjacent to a silicone breast implant 14 years after elective breast augmentation. Metastatic work up revealed no other focus of disease. She was treated with systemic chemotherapy. Review of the literature revealed five cases of primary breast lymphoma associated with a breast implant. Patients presented with either a mass or a periprosthetic fluid collection an average of eight years after either silicone gel-filled or saline-filled breast implant placement. Diagnosis was obtained with either biopsy or aspiration. All patients had the same histological subtype, anaplastic large cell lymphoma. It is unlikely that any cause-effect relationship exists between breast implants and primary breast lymphoma since chance alone could easily account for the low incidence of primary breast lymphoma in patients with breast implants. However, a fluid collection around a breast implant may be a unique presentation for this population of patients. Clinicians should include malignancy in the differential diagnosis of periprosthetic fluid collections and periprosthetic masses. Useful diagnostic tests may include MRI, aspiration with cytology, and percutaneous or open biopsy.

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