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Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by mineral oil: a health problem


Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvant (ASIA) includes the following conditions: siliconosis, Gulf War syndrome, macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome, and post-vaccination phenomena. Afterward, other syndromes have been recognized, such as in ASIA by mineral oil (ASIA-MO). These conditions are triggered by adjuvants and they are the result of the interplay of genetic and environmental factors. ASIA-MO is defined as the infiltration of oily type modeling substances for cosmetic purposes. It has been reported in many countries and used surreptitiously. Pathogenesis of ASIA-MO is not clear, but is characterized by chronic granulomatous inflammation, like the pristane model in mice, with increase of proinflammatory cytokines: type I interferons (IFNα and IFNß), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and erosive arthritis. In humans, an increase of interleukin 1 (IL-1) has been found. Clinical spectrum of ASIA-MO is heterogeneous, varying from mild to severe and being local and systemic. The systemic manifestations can be non-specific and specific, meeting criteria for any autoimmune disease (AID), i.e., SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic sclerosis, among others. The areas of the body where the mineral oil is mostly applied include the following: buttocks (38–72%), breasts (12–16%), lower extremities (18–22%), and face (6–10%). The penis augmentation is also common. Treatment is focused on local and systemic manifestations and requires medical and surgical management representing a challenge for the physician.

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Correspondence to Olga Vera-Lastra.

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Vera-Lastra, O., Medina, G., Cruz-Domínguez, M.P. et al. Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by mineral oil: a health problem. Clin Rheumatol 37, 1441–1448 (2018).

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  • ASIA
  • Clinical manifestations
  • Diagnosis approach
  • Epidemiology
  • Mineral oil
  • Treatment