Rarely a woman may develop an anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) associated with a breast implant.


Features of an ALCL associated with a breast implant:

(1) presence of an effusion (seroma) and/or mass lesion associated with a breast implant

(2) symptoms may include local swelling, pain, rash, pruritis or a sense of pressure

(3) biopsy shows an anaplastic large cell lymphoma (see below)

(4) exclusion of other forms of malignant lymphoma elsewhere (chronic inflammation, systemic ALCL, cutaneous ALCL, CD30-positive lymphoproliferative disorder, etc)


Pathologic features of the ALCL:

(1) large, pleomorphic epithelioid cells with vesicular and irregular nuclei

(2) high mitotic rate

(3) usually strongly positive for CD30

(4) usually EMA positive

(5) usually express T-cell markers

(6) ALK-negative

(7) typically show T-cell receptor gene rearrangements


Clinical Form



effusion only

good with indolent course

removal of implant and pseudocapsule

any mass

more aggressive



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