Indexed on: 09 Feb '16Published on: 09 Feb '16Published in: The Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences
Breast tuberculosis is a rare form of extrapulmonary tubercular infection. Our aim is to highlight the nonspecific clinical presentations, diagnostic difficulties and therapeutic approaches of mammarian tuberculosis. Forty-six patients diagnosed with breast tuberculosis between 2005 and 2015 were reviewed retrospectively. Clinical features, all diagnostic methods, and the outcomes of treatment were analysed. All cases were female with a mean age of 36.4 years. Breast mass and pain were the most common complaints. While 34.8% of the cases had a physical examination with suspicions for malignancy, 43.5% of the patients had Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) 4 or 5 lesions suggested malignancy radiologically. Definitive diagnosis was based on histopathologic examination through core needle biopsy (n = 29), excisional biopsy (n = 12), and open biopsy (n = 5) taken from the abscess wall during drainage. Standard antiTB therapy for 6 months was given to all cases. Thirty-three patients recovered with standard 6-month therapy while extended treatment for 9-12 months was needed in 13 (28.2%) cases. Surgery was carried out in 17 cases. Two patients developed recurrence. Breast tuberculosis can be easily confused with breast cancer, suppurative abscess, and other causes of granulomatous mastitis, both clinically and radiologically. A multidisciplinary approach is required to prevent diagnostic delays and unnecessary surgical interventions. Although antiTB therapy is the mainstay treatment of breast TB, surgery is usually indicated in patients refractory to medical treatment.