Breast implant anaplastic large cell lymphoma is an entity recently recognized by the World Health Organization. The tumor arises around textured-surface breast implants and is usually confined to the surrounding fibrous capsule. Currently, there are no recommendations for handling and sampling of capsules from patients with suspected breast implant anaplastic large cell lymphoma without a grossly identifiable tumor. We analyzed complete capsulectomies without distinct gross lesions from patients with breast implant anaplastic large cell lymphoma. The gross appearance of the capsules as well as the presence, extent and depth of tumor cells on the luminal side and number of sections involved by lymphoma were determined by review of routine stains and CD30 immunohistochemistry. We then used a mathematical model that included the extent of tumor cells and number of positive sections to calculate the minimum number of sections required to identify 95% of randomly distributed lesions. We identified 50 patients with breast implant anaplastic large cell lymphoma who had complete capsulectomies. The implants were textured in all 32 (100%) cases with available information. Anaplastic large cell lymphoma was found in 44/50 (88%) capsules; no tumor was found in six (12%) patients who had lymphoma cells only in the effusion. The median number of sections reviewed was 20 (range, 2–240), the median percentage of sections involved by tumor was 6% (range, 0–90%), and the median percentage of sections involved by lymphoma was 10% (range, 0–90%). Invasion deep into or through the capsule was identified in 18/50 (36%) patients. In patients with breast implant anaplastic large cell lymphoma without a grossly identifiable tumor we identified a spectrum of involvement and we propose a protocol for handling, sampling and reporting these cases. The number of sections to exclude the presence of lymphoma with more than 95% certainty was supported by a mathematic rationale.
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We thank all personnel in the Departments of Hematopathology and Pathology who supported us to perform all that was required for this project.
Conflict of interest
RNM received compensation from Allergan Inc. for advisory expert opinion in a one-day meeting. The remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Lyapichev, K.A., Piña-Oviedo, S., Medeiros, L.J. et al. A proposal for pathologic processing of breast implant capsules in patients with suspected breast implant anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Mod Pathol 33, 367–379 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41379-019-0337-2
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