Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis: in search of a therapeutic paradigm

Am Surg. 2007 Aug;73(8):798-802.


Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis, also known as idiopathic granulomatous lobular mastitis, is a benign breast lesion that represents both a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma. We report two cases of granulomatous mastitis recently evaluated and managed at our institution. To better understand this rare disease, we analyzed treatment outcomes in reported cases of granulomatous mastitis. One hundred sixteen cases were subsequently analyzed. Primary management strategies included observation (n = 9), steroids (n = 29), partial mastectomy (n = 75), and mastectomy (n = 3). Success rates with each treatment were observation, 56 per cent; steroids, 42 per cent; partial mastectomy, 79 per cent; and mastectomy, 100 per cent. Based on this analysis, we propose a clinically useful algorithm for both workup and management of these challenging cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Cesarean Section
  • Decision Making*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Granuloma / diagnosis
  • Granuloma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mastectomy*
  • Mastitis / diagnosis
  • Mastitis / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography, Mammary


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Prednisone