Background: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusion: 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. Level of Evidence III: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266.