Acute Mastitis/Breast Abscess

General Information

  • Classical signs of inflammation (heat, redness, swelling, painful)

  • Staph most common cause

  • Inc PMNs (neutrophils) with intraductal and periductal inflammation

Etiology

  • Due to a fissure in the skin from breastfeeding that allows for infection of underlying breast.

  • Often due to Staphylococcus aureus or streptococci (Strep often produces diffuse cellulitis)


Clinical Picture

  • Usually mom comes in a month after starting breastfeeding with an irritated, inflamed breast.

  • Can form a firm mass in breast (DDx: CANCER!)

  • Typically unilateral (affecting the side used for breastfeeding)

  • If untreated with antibiotics, infection can spread or an abscess can form. (see abscess for more details)

Histology

  • Lots of neutrophils

  • Abscess formation= organization with fibrous scar formation around area of infection/neutrophils/pus etc


Differential Diagnosis:

  • RULE OUT INFLAMMATORY CARCINOMA OF THE BREAST!!!



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