Does (mis)use of industrial liquid silicone implants interfere with bone mineral density in transgender women?

Arch Osteoporos. 2020 Sep 22;15(1):149. doi: 10.1007/s11657-020-00824-2.


The effects of gluteal implants on bone mass remain unclear. Transgender women with ILS presented higher BMD in the hip compared with transgender women without implants, while no difference was observed in other sites. These results may be artifactual and suggest using spine/forearm sites for DXA in individuals with ILS.

Purpose: The inappropriate use of industrial liquid silicone (ILS) injections for cosmetic purposes is practiced by some transgender women. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of gluteal ILS on femur BMD in transgender women.

Methods: A total of 46 trans women with and without ILS injection in the gluteal region were selected. All patients underwent clinical and hormonal evaluation, and bone mass was assessed by DXA.

Results: Bone mineral density (BMD) values were significantly higher in trans women with ILS (n = 23) in femoral neck and total femur when compared with trans women without implants (n = 23). Similar BMD was observed in other sites, such as lumbar spine and forearm. Good agreement was found in the evaluation of low BMD using spine/forearm or spine/femur in patients without implants (k = 0.744 and 1.000 for male and female reference database, respectively), but poor to fair index was found in patients with ILS implants (k = 0.330 and 0.646 for male and female reference database, respectively).

Conclusions: In transgender women with ILS implants, poor to moderate agreement was found on BMD when comparing lumbar spine/femur DXA with an alternative site to the femur, depending on using male or female database. These results may be artifactual and suggest using spine/forearm sites for more accurate DXA assessments in trans women with ILS gluteal implants.

Keywords: Bone mineral density; Gluteal implant; Industrial silicone; Transgender women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Bone Density*
  • Breast Implants* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Silicones
  • Transgender Persons*


  • Silicones