Analysis of Breast Implant Capsular Tissue for Crystalline Silica and Other Refractile Phases

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Abstract

This study questions previous reports of the presence of micrometer-sized areas of crystalline silica in pathologic tissue sections that are based exclusively on polarized-light microscopy. By using optical principles, it can be argued that it is impossible to identify unambiguously or to detect the birefringence of crystalline silica in 5-μm-thin sections. To clarify whether silicone, amorphous silica, or crystalline silica occurs in micrometer-sized moieties in standard 5-μm-thick tissue sections, one needs to apply a structural means of analysis in addition to optical microscopy. This study recommends the use of the laser Raman spectroscopic technique, which is very well suited to clarify this highly controversial issue in future pathologic studies. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 103: 1273, 1999.)

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