Silicone pulmonary embolism: Report of 10 cases and review of the literature

Carlos Santiago Restrepo, Maddy Artunduaga, Jorge A. Carrillo, Aura L. Rivera, Paulina Ojeda, Santiago Martinez-Jimenez, Ana C. Manzano, Santiago E. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess patient outcome and imaging findings of patients with pulmonary embolism of fluid silicone. METHODS: Medical records and imaging examinations of 10 patients with respiratory distress after illicit injection of fluid silicone were reviewed. Population consisted of 8 male (6 male-to-female transsexuals) and 2 female subjects. RESULTS: Average age was 29 years. Most common injection sites were gluteal and trochanteric. Respiratory symptoms developed between 15 minutes and 2 days after silicone injection. Five referred fever, 6 developed adult respiratory distress syndrome, and 2 subsequently died. Alveolar hemorrhage was demonstrated on pathological examination in 6, with silicone vacuoles in the lung parenchyma in 3. Computed tomography demonstrated peripheral ground glass opacities with interlobular septal thickening in all and peripheral airspace disease in 7. CONCLUSIONS: Illicit injection of large volumes of fluid silicone for cosmetic purposes is associated with pulmonary embolism and acute alveolar hemorrhage and is associated with a significant mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-237
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluid silicone injection
  • Nonthrombotic pulmonary embolism
  • Silicone embolism


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