Histopathologic and Ultrastructural Features of Gold Thread Implanted in the Skin for Facial Rejuvenation

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Abstract

The authors report the histopathologic and ultrastructural features of gold threads, which were implanted in the cheek subcutis of a 77-year-old woman 10 years ago. These particles did not give rise to any adverse reactions and were fortuitously discovered by the surgeon during a facelift. Histopathology showed a nonpolarizing exogenous material consisting of black oval structures surrounded by a capsule of fibrosis and by a discrete inflammatory reaction with a few giant cells. In some cases, only a long fibrous tract surrounded by a moderate mononucleate infiltrate was observed. The wires were characterized with scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray microanalysis revealed a specific peak at 2.2 keV representative of gold that was absent in the control skin sample. As this value is specific for gold, it confirms the presence of the metal in the patient's skin. The histopathologic appearance of gold threads is particularly distinctive and easily recognizable by dermatopathologists.

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