Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and exposure to breast implants

Elizabeth W. Karlson, Milenko Tanasijevic, Susan E. Hankinson, Matthew H. Liang, Graham A. Colditz, Frank E. Speizer, Peter H. Schur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Animal studies and uncontrolled case series in humans have suggested a possible association between breast implant exposure and monoclonal gammopathy. Objective: To assess whether there is an increased risk of monoclonal gammopathy in women with silicone breast implants, we conducted a retrospective study of women exposed to breast implants and matched nonexposed women nested within a prospective cohort study (the Nurses' Health Study). Methods: We used serum protein electrophoresis and immunoglobulin subtype by immunofixation to test 288 women exposed to breast implants and 288 age-matched, nonexposed women who previously had provided a blood sample (1989-1990) for monoclonal proteins. Results: Among the women exposed to breast implants, 5 had monoclonal gammopathy of undetermiMed significance (MGUS) compared with 4 women among those not exposed (odds ratio, 1.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.27-6.39). The distribution of isotypes was similar across exposure groups. The exposed women with MGUS tended to be older than the nonexposed women (mean age, 60.4 years vs 52.5 years, respectively; P=.03). None of the 9 women with MGUS had reported multiple myeloma or other hematologic malignancies up through 1996. Conclusions: We find little evidence to support a substantial increased risk of MGUS in women exposed to breast implants. Larger studies are needed to determine if a more modest relationship exists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-867
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of internal medicine
Volume161
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 26 2001
Externally publishedYes

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    Karlson, E. W., Tanasijevic, M., Hankinson, S. E., Liang, M. H., Colditz, G. A., Speizer, F. E., & Schur, P. H. (2001). Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and exposure to breast implants. Archives of internal medicine, 161(6), 864-867. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.161.6.864