Reconsideration of the first recognition of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma: A critical review of the literature

Kirill A. Lyapichev, L. Jeffrey Medeiros, Mark W. Clemens, Maria C. Ferrufino-Schmidt, Mario L. Marques-Piubelli, Siaw Ming Chai, Mark G. Evans, Joseph D. Khoury, Roberto N. Miranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The current literature credits Keech and Creech with the first report of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in 1997. Here we discuss what we consider is the first ever description of BIA-ALCL, a recently recognized entity by the WHO. We unearthed the description of a patient that was diagnosed with primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), surrounding a breast implant in 1996. In light of the current state of knowledge, we evaluated the evidence presented in 1996 and consider that BIA-ALCL is a more appropriate diagnosis rather than PEL. We base our proposal on the following features: 1). clinical presentation of effusion around a breast implant, 2). occurring in an HIV negative patient, 3). absence of EBV co-infection, and 4). a historically questionable demonstration of HHV8. In effect we further support that HHV8 is not related with BIA-ALCL based on the following facts: 1). An extensive review of the literature did not disclose a similar case in the next 24 years, 2). Use of state of the art HHV8 by immunohistochemistry did not disclose any positive case among 30 randomly tested cases. We believe this matter is of importance because in the current WHO, the assertion that PEL is a possible complication of breast implants may lead to a diagnosis with poor prognosis and susceptible of morbidity related with aggressive therapy, in contrast with BIA-ALCL that can be cured with surgery alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151474
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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