Silicone-reactive disorder: a new autoimmune disease caused by immunostimulation and superantigens

Med Hypotheses. 1993 Oct;41(4):348-52. doi: 10.1016/0306-9877(93)90081-z.


Over 100 cases of disorders closely resembling classic autoimmune diseases have been reported among patients who were injected or implanted with a diverse group of chemicals including paraffins, vegetable oils or silicone. Most cases have occurred in silicone breast implant recipients, especially those who received their prostheses 2-10 years prior to onset of symptoms. A high proportion of patients exhibit classic signs and symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome or scleroderma. Affected patients typically experience some combination of fatigue, myalgia, joint pain, sicca syndrome (dry eyes and mouth), synovitis, rash, alopecia, muscular weakness or lymphadenopathy, and autoantibody formation. Less commonly, patients may have the CREST syndrome (calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomena, esophageal hypomotility, sclerodactyly and telangiectasias), hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, or central nervous system pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / adverse effects
  • Models, Biological
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects
  • Silicon Dioxide / adverse effects
  • Silicon Dioxide / immunology
  • Silicones / adverse effects*
  • Superantigens


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Silicones
  • Superantigens
  • Silicon Dioxide