The Histological Composition of Capsular Contracture Focussed on the Inner Layer of the Capsule: An Intra-Donor Baker-I Versus Baker-IV Comparison: An intra-donor baker-I versus baker-IV comparison

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Capsular contracture remains one of the major complications after breast implantation surgery. The extent of capsular contraction is scored using the Baker scale. The aim of this study was to compare intra-individual Baker-I with Baker-IV capsules, and in particular the prevalence and histological properties of the inner capsule layer.

Twenty capsules from ten patients were included after bilateral explantation surgery due to unilateral capsular contracture (Baker-IV) after cosmetic augmentation with textured implants. All capsules underwent (immune-)histochemical analysis: haematoxylin–eosin (morphology), CD68 (macrophages), cytokeratin (epithelial cells) and vimentin (fibroblasts), and were visually scored for cell density and the presence of an inner layer and measured for thickness.

Baker-IV (n = 10) capsules were significantly thicker compared to Baker-I (n = 10) capsules (P = 0.004). An inner layer was present in 8 Baker-I capsules. All Baker-I capsules were vimentin and CD68-positive and cytokeratin-negative. Positive vimentin was seen throughout the inner layer, and CD-68 staining was observed adjacent to the intermediate capsule layer. In contrast, only 2 Baker-IV capsules had an inner layer, of which only 1 showed the same profile as Baker-I capsules (P = 0.016). No cytokeratin positivity was seen in any capsule. In Baker-IV capsules, outer layers showed more positivity for both vimentin and CD68.

The inner layer is morphologically consistent with synovial metaplasia and is more prevalent in healthy, uncontracted Baker-I capsules. This inverse relation between the presence of the inner layer and higher Baker classification or pathological contracture could indicate a protective role of the inner layer against capsular contracture formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1485-1491
Number of pages7
JournalAesthetic plastic surgery
Issue number6
Early online date5 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Breast augmentation
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Capsular contracture
  • Histology
  • Immunohistology
  • Synovial metaplasia

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