Causes of Scleroderma: Artificial Joints and Silicone Breast Implants

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Device Implantation Research
Media Stories
Personal Stories Related to Implants

Device Implantation Research

Are some cases of connective tissue disease, such as scleroderma, related to artificial joints or silicone breast implants? Contradictory findings continue to plague research into this area.

Silicone and scleroderma revisited. This review describes the mechanisms by which silicone may mediate autoimmunity in general, as well as the evidence for causal associations with more specific autoimmune syndromes in general, and scleroderma in particular. Lupus, 2012;21(2):121-7.

Silicone breast implants and connective tissue disease: no association. Any claims that remain regarding an association between cosmetic breast implants and CTDs are not supported by the scientific literature but rather are a residual byproduct of the unprecedented large-scale product liability litigation in the USA. Lipworth L. Semin Immunopathol, 2011 Jan 10. (Also see Connective Tissue Disease)

Serum proteins and paraproteins in women with silicone implants and connective tissue disease: a case-control study. Women with silicone implants had unexpectedly low serum globulin and immunoglobulin levels, with or without the subsequent development of CTD. The causes and clinical implications of these findings require further investigation. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:R95. (Also see Connective Tissue Disease)

What should be used as tools in women at risk of autoimmune disease? Because of the multifactorial nature of most autoimmune disorders, women seeking breast implants should be screened for the known triggers for developing CTD. Until we have better diagnostic tools, the women at risk of autoimmune diseases should not be considered for implantation of silicone devices for cosmetic purposes. PubMed, Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2007;15(1):45.

Also see: Causes of Scleroderma: Silica Exposure.

Silicone Implant Media Stories

Breast implants linked to rare cancer, FDA says. The Food and Drug Administration announced it had detected a possible association between saline and silicone gel-filled breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a cancer of the immune system. Rob Stein. The Washington Post. 01/26/2011.

Breast Implants: What We Now Know. What has a half century taught us about breast implants, and what should women considering their use know today? J. Hansen, MD. 03/10/09.

Personal Stories Related to Implants

Cindy Fuchs-Morrissey: Mother of a Progressive Systemic Sclerosis Child Hilary has an aggressive form of scleroderma with swallowing problems, bowel problems, fatigue, acral bone dysplasia of the hands and feet...

Jewell: Diffuse Progressive Systemic Sclerosis When I think back, I had been getting sick for a long time. I just did not know it...

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