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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 2987072, 5 pages
Research Article

Chronic Pulmonary Silicone Embolism from Breast Augmentation Is Not a Common Finding in Explanted Lungs

1Internal Medicine Residency Program, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA
2Respiratory Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA
3Department of Pathology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Atul C. Mehta; gro.fcc@1aathem

Received 22 September 2017; Accepted 11 February 2018; Published 15 March 2018

Academic Editor: Roberto Walter Dal Negro

Copyright © 2018 Jarmanjeet Singh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Acute pulmonary silicone embolism (APSE) related to subcutaneous silicone injections is a well-known entity. Recently, a few cases of pathologically confirmed chronic pulmonary silicone embolism (CPSE) from breast implants have been reported. The prevalence of CPSE in women with breast augmentation is unknown. This study was done to determine the prevalence of CPSE in female lung transplant recipients with a history of breast augmentation and to determine whether breast augmentation plays a role in chronic lung diseases requiring lung transplantation. Methods. A retrospective chart review was performed to identify female lung transplant recipients with a history of breast augmentation prior to or at the time of lung transplantation. Ten patients meeting these criteria were identified. The pathologic features of the explanted lungs of these patients were reexamined for CPSE by a board-certified pathologist with expertise in lung transplantation and pulmonary embolism. Results. Of 1518 lung transplant recipients at Cleveland Clinic, 578 were females. Of 578 females, 10 (1.73%) had history of breast augmentation. A total of 84 H&E-stained slides from the explanted lungs from 10 cases were examined. No pathologic evidence of chronic silicone embolism was seen in any of the 10 cases. Conclusions. CPSE is not associated with pulmonary disease leading to lung transplantation. Breast augmentation is not a significant contributor to pulmonary disease requiring lung transplantation. Further studies are required to ascertain the prevalence of CPSE in the general breast augmentation populace and to define the relationship between breast augmentation and pulmonary disease.