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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Mar;135(3):695-705. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000001033.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma occurring in women with breast implants: analysis of 173 cases.

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Los Angeles and Duarte, Calif.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Boston, Mass. From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Departments of Epidemiology and Pathology, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California; the Division of Oncology and Hematology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles; the Division of Plastic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine; City of Hope Cancer Hospital.

Erratum in

  • Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Aug;136(2):426.



The first silicone breast implant was inserted in 1962. In 1997, the first case of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in association with a silicone breast implant was reported. The authors reviewed 37 articles in the world literature reporting on 79 patients and collected another 94 unreported cases as of the date of submission.


The world literature was reviewed. Missing clinical and laboratory information was solicited from the authors and treating physicians. As several different specialties were involved, information was not in one place. Many (but not all) authors and treating physicians were responsive, resulting in incomplete data.


ALCL lesions first presented as late peri-implant seromas, a mass attached to the capsule, tumor erosion through the skin, in a regional node, or discovered during revision surgery. The clinical course varied widely from a single positive cytology result followed by apparent spontaneous resolution, to disseminated treatment-resistant tumor and death. There was no preference for saline or silicone fill or for cosmetic or reconstructive indications. Where implant history was known, the patient had received at least one textured-surface device. Extracapsular dissemination occurred in 18 cases; nine of those were fatal. Histochemical markers were primarily CD-30 and Alk-1. Other markers occurred at a lower frequency. Risk estimates ranged from one in 500,000 to one in 3 million women with implants.


Breast implant-associated ALCL is a novel manifestation of site- and material-specific lymphoma originating in a specific scar location, presenting a wide array of diverse characteristics and suggesting a multifactorial cause.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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