Chronic granulomatous mastitis: diagnostic and therapeutic considerations

World J Surg. 2003 May;27(5):515-8. doi: 10.1007/s00268-003-6806-1. Epub 2003 Apr 28.


To review the clinical presentation, histopathological features, and optimal treatment of chronic granulomatous mastitis, the authors conducted a retrospective study of 25 women admitted to a teaching hospital in Malaysia between January 1998 and December 2000 who met the required histologic criteria. The primary outcome measures were morbidity and recurrence of the disease. Thirteen patients presented with a breast mass clinically mimicking breast cancer, and 12 patients had breast induration and abscess formation. In addition, 8 of these patients had recurrent breast disease. Clinical and imaging diagnosis has often been difficult and inconclusive, so histopathology remains the optimal diagnostic tool. Of interest, 50% of patients experience recurrences, and long-term follow-up is therefore necessary. The authors concluded that, because chronic granulomatous mastitis is a rare benign breast condition that may be misdiagnosed as breast carcinoma, complete resection should be accomplished whenever possible. Steroid therapy may be an adjuvant for optimal treatment. Awareness among surgeons and pathologists should also be emphasized to avoid unnecessary misdiagnosis and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Granuloma / diagnosis*
  • Granuloma / drug therapy
  • Granuloma / pathology
  • Granuloma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Mastitis / diagnosis*
  • Mastitis / drug therapy
  • Mastitis / pathology
  • Mastitis / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Prednisolone