Purpose: To outline the demographics, clinical presentation, imaging features, and treatment modalities observed among a series of patients diagnosed with biopsy-proven granulomatous mastitis (GM).
Method: Following approval by institutional review board, retrospective chart review was performed on patients with biopsy-proven granulomatous mastitis at our institution in the period from January 2013 until October 2017.
Results: A total of 90 patients were identified: 87 women and 3 men. The mean age was 35 years, mostly women in their reproductive age. In our study, patients with GM were more likely to be Hispanic compared to the general population. Sixty-three percent of patients were within 5 years of previous pregnancy. Painful palpable mass-like lesion was the most common physical finding. Breast ultrasound (US) was performed in all patients, and most commonly showed a hypoechoic irregular-shaped mass. Mammography (MG) showed asymmetry or irregular mass as the main finding. Definitive diagnosis was obtained by imaging-guided core needle biopsies in 94.4%. Conservative management was preferred, and only one patient underwent surgery.
Conclusion: Although clinical and radiological findings of patients with GM may mimic those of breast carcinoma, our study showed that women of childbearing age, especially among Hispanic ethnicity with a recent history of pregnancy or high prolactin level and newly tender mass-like lesion, in addition to new focal asymmetry on mammogram and heterogeneous hypoechoic irregular-shaped mass on ultrasound exam, should raise concern for GM. Non-invasive approach and clinical follow-up were the preferred treatment method.
Keywords: Breast cancer; Breast imaging; Breast mass; Granulomatous mastitis.