Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, an under-recognised entity

Ruvini Thashila Gunawardana, Benjamin F. Dessauvagie, Donna B. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare form of T-cell lymphoma, recently linked to the use of certain types of breast implants. Although rare, BIA-ALCL is being increasingly recognised and radiologists can play an important role in its early diagnosis. BIA-ALCL is thought to be related to chronic inflammation from indolent infection of the biofilm surrounding implants leading to malignant transformation of activated T cells in genetically susceptible individuals. Clinical features include breast enlargement or asymmetry, discomfort, heaviness and/or a palpable mass in the context of long-standing implant(s). Ultrasound is the primary imaging modality, and the presence of more than a trace of peri-implant fluid should prompt consideration of aspiration for cytology, flow cytometry and microbiological analysis. This article reviews the clinical, imaging and pathology features of BIA-ALCL. In addition, the current recommended management guidelines for suspected cases are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-638
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


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