22 Cases of Breast Implant–Associated ALCL: Awareness and Outcome Tracking from the Italian Ministry of Health

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Abstract

Background:

To date, 359 cases of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in women with breast implants (breast implant–associated ALCL [BIA-ALCL]) worldwide have been reported among more than 10 million patients who have received implants, but health care authorities suspect this is a possible underestimation, and the limited number of cases makes it difficult to clarify its cause. The General Directorate of Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Services of the Italian Ministry of Health has examined and studied the Italian BIA-ALCL cases.

Methods:

An official document has been diffused to all medical associations, aiming at encouraging all physicians to notify each BIA-ALCL case. A retrospective study has been performed on the notified BIA-ALCL cases collected in the database named Dispovigilance.

Results:

Research on Dispovigilance returns a list of 22 BIA-ALCL cases. The mean patient age was 49.6 years (range, 30 to 71 years). The average time to the onset of the symptoms was 6.8 years (range, 1 to 22 years). The average time to diagnosis was 7.8 years (range, 4 to 22 years). The estimated incidence of the Italian BIA-ALCL cases related to 2015 is 2.8 per 100,000 patients.

Conclusions:

The pathogenesis of BIA-ALCL remains unknown. The establishment of a national breast implant registry is needed to better understand some aspects of this disease. Future genetic studies on the population affected could clarify why only some patients with implants develop this disease.

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