Mondor's disease of the breast. A retrospective review

Breast Dis. 2011;33(3):103-7. doi: 10.3233/BD-2012-0332.


Background: Mondor's disease is a rare benign clinical entity characterized by thrombophlebitis of the superficial veins of the anterolateral thoraco-abdominal wall. Although several predisposing factors have been reported, the exact pathogenesis remains unclear.

Patients and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients older than 14 years who were diagnosed with Mondor's disease of the breast at the Breast Cancer Surgery Unit of Army General Hospital over a 3-year period.

Results: Five cases of Mondor's disease were identified among 5717 breast examinations performed during the study period. In 4 patients the disease was considered to be idiopathic. Ultrasonography established the diagnosis in all patients but mammography was inconclusive in two cases due to the presence of dense breast tissue. Four patients received symptomatic treatment. All patients had complete clinical resolution within 2-8 weeks of presentation, and they are well without any evidence of recurrence for 3 to 32 months later. No cases were associated with breast cancer.

Conclusions: Mondor's disease of the breast is a rare benign self-limiting clinical entity. Ultrasonography is the diagnostic modality of choice but mammography may be inconclusive in the presence of dense breast tissue. Awareness of this rare entity is mandatory to prevent an unnecessary biopsy whereas the patients should be reassured of the benign nature of this disorder. Thorough evaluation is however necessary to rule out an underlying breast cancer or another systemic disease.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Wall / blood supply
  • Abdominal Wall / diagnostic imaging
  • Abdominal Wall / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Breast Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Diseases / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Rare Diseases
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracic Wall / blood supply
  • Thoracic Wall / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Wall / pathology*
  • Thrombophlebitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Thrombophlebitis / pathology*
  • Ultrasonography