blood tests for leaks from implants raise questions and hopes
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A growing number of medical laboratories provide diagnostic blood tests to women implanted with silicone breast implants, promising that they can determine whether breast implants are leaking, which poses a serious risk to health.
But many experts who study breast augmentation say these tests are very inaccurate and do not prove that silicone gel is the cause of female complaints, from mild discomfort to life --
Threat of autoimmune disease
He said: \"Several companies claim to have an antibody test to test silica gel in the blood . \"
Robert Oaks is an immunologist at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, California.
\"But as far as I know,\" he continued, \"there is no test that can predict or indicate any specific immune response to silicon,\" which is a test that must be done, to prove the adverse effects on health.
Some of these tests are so unspecific in the antibodies they detect that they do nothing but \"show a woman has a cold.
A professor of microbiology at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
\"I can\'t think of any doctor who will pay attention to them.
\"Nevertheless, many women were asked by lawyers to take these tests,\" said Dr.
Nir Kossovsky, a pathologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said.
None of them were approved by the Food and Drug Administration and most of them were not described in peer-published papers
The tests could cost hundreds of dollars, he said, but it doesn\'t prove that silicone is harmful.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, it is estimated that 1 million women have silicone gel implanted for cosmetic or reconstruction purposes.
But at the same time, drug agencies are warning about existing tests, and the researchers say they are starting to understand how implants break down in the body and interact with the immune system, this suggests that there may be more useful and accurate testing.
The general strategy for developing these tests is to find antibodies, molecules that attack and neutralize foreign proteins in the body.
This approach is based on the belief of some researchers that although silica gel is a synthetic polymer, not a protein, it can prevent the formation of antibodies.
They also believe that this process is related to complications of breast implants.
In tests currently available using this strategy, a method measures antibodies related to the components of the nervous system and neuromuscular diseases.
However, although this antibody has been detected in some breast augmentation women, it has not been found to be related to siliconeKossovsky said.
They may be related to a neurological disease that occurs in implanted women for unknown reasons.
Another test measures antibodies that adhere to silica gel materials on the grounds that antibodies that adhere to silica gel are specific.
Its supporters say these-
Silicone antibodies were found in women with broken implants.
Search for links but Dr.
John naimm, Director of Surgical Research at Rochester General Hospital in northern New York, pointed out that silicone is a sticky material and various antibodies are easily glued to it.
He said the level of antibodies in patients with a cold or flu could be high, and those antibodies would stick to the silicone.
Test batteries provided by other laboratories can screen for signs of immune system response. Naim said.
But none of them have been shown to be related to silica gel.
Advertising researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Davis, are designing tests to detect collagen and fib antibodies, both of which are in continuous and close contact with silica gel, may be involved in an automated immune response to the implant.
However, these tests are for research purposes only and are not recommended for diagnosis.
Most of the ideas about how silicone causes disease have not been accepted by mainstream researchers. But Dr.
Kossovsky, who has studied the fate of silicone in human tissues for 12 years, has just published a new theory that he hopes his colleagues will consider.
The theory, described in the journal Applied Biological Materials, published in December, proposes four steps for the immune system to deal with silicone breast augmentation.
All breast implants will eventually leak tiny silicone droplets.
Over the years, according to this theory, biological forces have spread these droplets small enough to travel down the nerve sheath to distant tissues of the body away from the breast.
Doctor, these silicone droplets are sticky and oily.
Kossovsky says it attracts protein as much as clay sculpture draws ink from comic pages.
Proteins such as clear protein, fiber-connected protein, and fiber-protein are covered with silicone droplets, which are soon discovered by one of the body\'s first defense systems ---macrophages.
He said that macrophages were designed to devour particles in the blood and tissues and worked hard in the first phase of the immune response.
Step two, kill. with-
With the constant leakage of silicone particles into the body, the fever stage is called a function.
\"The macrophages continue to eat and will not be shut down and will eventually change the gears,\" Dr. Kossovsky said.
\"It\'s as if there\'s a small clock in the macrophages that says,\" We \'ve been fighting for months and we haven\'t gotten rid of these spots. It\'s war.
Let\'s call the reserve team.
He said: \"To do this, the macrophages send out signals to bring together troops of other immune system cells and substances that bring fever, inflammation, scar tissue and more
The \"war\" lasted for weeks, months and years and can explain the symptoms of breast augmentation reported by people.
The third step, the researchers say, is \"to kill with the immune system more specifically \".
\"The proteins that adhere to the silicone are deformed by physical and chemical interactions, resulting in a more aggressive attack on the immune system.
The antibodies against these \"interesting-looking proteins,\" were produced, doctor.
Kossovsky said and started a state of chronic inflammation.
But why do some women experience these painful symptoms while others do not?
Humans have different immune systems. Kossovsky said.
\"Some people have a system that says \'O \'. K.
There are some interesting looking proteins around here, but they are close enough to themselves
We will release the protein they left.
Others think these proteins are foreign and try to kill everyone.
These people produce antibodies to deformed proteins and immune systems. out war.
\"This could lead to step four, doctor. Kossovsky said.
In a few unfortunate people, antibodies cross-react and actively attack the same natural protein as silicone droplets.
The dots on the two molecules are very similar and the immune system cannot tell them, he said.
Antibodies attack the body\'s own protein-
Signs of autoimmune disease.
Silicone is particularly good at stimulating the immune system because it is easy to change the shape of the protein and invite an antibody attack. Kossovsky said.
\"The best evidence that the implant causes some of the patient\'s own immune problems is that half of the patients who remove the implant become better to some extent,\" Dr. Ochs said.
Symptoms are relieved or relieved.
\"He said other patients may have problems with their immune system and they will get sick regardless of whether they are implanted or not.
No one knows how to distinguish the two.
A version of this article appears on page C00003 of the national edition of December 28, 1993, with the title: blood tests for implant leaks raise questions and hopes.