Silicone Granulomatous Inflammation Resulting in Hypercalcemia: A Review of the Literature

Niharika Yedla, Elys Perez, Violet Lagari, Alejandro Ayala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Silicone usage for cosmetic enhancement is common, although it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Granulomatous inflammation leading to hypercalcemia is a rare complication. We present a case of non–parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcitriol-mediated hypercalcemia in a woman with a history of cosmetic injections. Methods: Case report and review of the literature. Results: A 48-year-old female with metabolic syndrome was evaluated for severe hypercalcemia (calcium >15 mg/dL). Laboratory tests revealed low-normal PTH, normal 25-hydroxyvitamin D, elevated 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and hypercalciuria. Imaging studies, including a computed tomography (CT) scan of the lungs, was nonrevealing. Positron emission tomography/CT showed symmetric hypermetabolic subcutaneous stranding of bilateral gluteus and proximal thighs. She admitted to silicone injections in the buttocks 10 years prior. Her examination was unremarkable except for an intermittent pruritic rash over the right thigh. Labs revealed total serum calcium 11.3 mg/dL, PTH 18 pg/mL, 24-hour urinary calcium 509 mg, and PTH-related peptide 18 pg/mL. Serum and urine electrophoresis were normal, 25-hydroxyvitamin D was 47 pg/mL, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D was 121 pg/mL. Angiotensin-converting enzyme level was 80 U/mL. A diagnosis of granulomatous inflammation resulting in calcitriol-mediated, PTH-independent hypercalcemia was entertained. Conclusion: Silicone-induced hypercalcemia should be thought of in those with prior cosmetic injections. Tissue biopsy confirms the diagnosis, which is often delayed. We reviewed 19 cases with silicone usage and variable levels of hypercalcemia. Renal injury was common. One death was reported. Glucocorticoids, calcium restriction, and hydration have been used to treat calcitriol-mediated hypercalcemia but are not curative. Ketoconazole and bisphosphonates have been used with variable success. Surgical excision tends to be ineffective due to silicone migration. The treatment of this disorder is difficult and often ineffective. Abbreviations: CT = computed tomography; FDA = U.S. Food and Drug Administration; PMMA = polymethymethacrylate; PTH = parathyroid hormone;

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e119-e123
JournalAACE Clinical Case Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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