Gel bleed in breast implants
Citation, DOI, disclosures and article data
At the time the article was created Yuranga Weerakkody had no recorded disclosures.View Yuranga Weerakkody's current disclosures
Gel bleed is a phenomenon associated with silicone breast implants.
Gel bleed refers to the microscopic diffusion of silicone gel through the breast implant elastomer shell. The implant shell, made of silicone, is a semipermeable membrane that allows for the egress or bleed of silicone naturally.
This bleed may be low or high grade, depending on the amount of cross-linking of the silicone elastomer shell.
Gel bleed is not visible on mammogram or ultrasound.
On MRI, gel bleed is characterized by the filling of wrinkles ("keyhole sign") present in otherwise intact implants. This is in contrast to the extravasation of silicone resulting from a disruption of the implant shell.
These silicone molecules can travel through the lymphatics, resulting in a "snowstorm sign" 5.
- 1. Paredes ES. Atlas of mammography. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2007) ISBN:0781764335. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Beekman WH, Van straalen WR, Hage JJ et-al. Imaging signs and radiologists' jargon of ruptured breast implants. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 1998;102 (4): 1281-9. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. (link) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Safvi A. Linguine sign. Radiology. 2000;216 (3): 838-9. Radiology (full text) - Pubmed citation
- 4. Caskey CI, Berg WA, Hamper UM et-al. Imaging spectrum of extracapsular silicone: correlation of US, MR imaging, mammographic, and histopathologic findings. Radiographics. 1999;19 Spec No (suppl_1): S39-51. doi:10.1148/radiographics.19.suppl_1.g99oc11s39 - Pubmed citation
- 5. Samreen N, Glazebrook K, Bhatt A et al. Imaging Findings of Mammary and Systemic Silicone Deposition Secondary to Breast Implants. Br J Radiol. 2018;91(1089):20180098. doi:10.1259/bjr.20180098 - Pubmed