Autoantibodies in patients with silicone implants

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We assessed the prevalence of autoantibodies in women with

silicone implants and controls. Five hundred consecutive

patients with silicone implants, 25 age-matched normal women,

25 women with silicone implants and no rheumatic symptoms,

and 100 women with fibromyalgia were tested.

Immunofluorescence antinuclear antibodies (ANA) were

performed using HEp-2 cells. Subtype autoantibodies were

performed by enzyme-linked immunoassay and Western blot. ANA

tests were positive in 30% of patients with silicone implants

and rheumatic symptoms, 8% of age-matched normal women, 28%

of women with silicone implants without clinical symptoms,

and 25% of women with fibromyalgia and no silicone implants.

The predominant ANA pattern was speckled (55%). ANA subtype

testing was positive in 4.8% of patients and none of the

controls. We conclude that a larger proportion of women with

silicone implants have autoantibodies compared to age-matched

asymptomatic women suggesting immune activation in women with

silicone implants.

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