Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, arising in association with saline breast implant: expanding the spectrum of breast implant-associated lymphomas

Am J Surg Pathol. 2012 Nov;36(11):1729-34. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e31826a006f.


Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is most common in Asia and is driven by Epstein-Barr virus infection. These tumors usually arise in the nasal region; in rare cases they can involve extranasal sites, most often skin, with involvement of the breast being rare. Lymphomas arising adjacent to breast implants are rare, and most cases reported to date have been anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Here we report a 41-year-old white woman with bilateral saline breast implants placed for cosmetic reasons who almost 9 years later developed painful swelling at the right-breast implant site. Excisional biopsy revealed lymphoma composed of monomorphic large cells associated with necrosis and angioinvasion. Immunohistochemical analysis showed an aberrant, NK/T-cell immunophenotype with the lymphoma cells being CD2+, CD3+, CD56+, partial CD30+, granzyme B, TIA-1+, CD4+, CD5+, CD7+, and CD8+. In situ hybridization analysis showed Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNA within the neoplastic cells. Polymerase chain reaction analysis showed monoclonal T-cell receptor-γ chain gene rearrangement. These findings support the diagnosis of extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type. On the basis of our review of the literature, this case is unique. In addition, we believe this case is important to report, because it expands the spectrum of T-cell lymphomas that can be associated with breast implants and may be a forerunner of additional cases to follow.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast / surgery
  • Breast Implantation
  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Device Removal
  • Female
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease / diagnosis*
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease / etiology
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / etiology
  • Mammaplasty / adverse effects*
  • Mastectomy
  • Nose Neoplasms / etiology
  • Nose Neoplasms / pathology
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Sodium Chloride


  • Sodium Chloride