What are the traumatic causes of pediatric breast disorders?

Updated: May 03, 2021
  • Author: Harsh Grewal, MD, FACS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Robert K Minkes, MD, PhD  more...
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Trauma to the breast, iatrogenic or blunt, may result in a palpable mass. The trauma causes fat necrosis, or breakdown of the adipose tissue. To complicate the diagnosis, women may or may not recall the inciting event. In addition, women may examine a traumatized breast and discover a mass that was present prior to the event.

On physical examination, the mass is sometimes indistinguishable from a cancer. US, mammography, and even magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast may be unable to discern the difference, leading to biopsies in concerning masses. Although pathognomonic for fat necrosis, key features—including peripheral calcifications, fibrotic scar, and echogenic internal bands—may also be consistent with breast cancer. [18] Findings of lipid cysts or US evidence of fat necrosis may assist in the decision to monitor a palpable abnormality or perform a biopsy. [19]

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