Breast infection (including infectious mastitis and breast abscess) typically affects women 15 to 45 years of age, especially those who are lactating. Neonates and adolescent girls may also be affected.
Staphylococcus aureus is the most frequent pathogen isolated.
Prompt and appropriate management of mastitis usually leads to a timely resolution and prevents complications, such as a breast abscess.
Treatment of infectious and non-infectious mastitis includes antibiotic therapy and effective milk removal if lactating.
In addition to antibiotic therapy, breast abscess requires surgical intervention, such as aspiration, incision, and drainage, and possibly duct excision.
It is imperative to identify and treat any underlying co-existent causes of infection and to exclude breast carcinoma.
Mastitis is inflammation of the breast with or without infection. Mastitis with infection may be lactational (puerperal) or non-lactational (e.g., duct ectasia). Non-infectious mastitis includes idiopathic granulomatous inflammation and other inflammatory conditions (e.g., foreign body reaction). A breast abscess is a localised area of infection with a walled-off collection of pus. It may or may not be associated with mastitis.
Assistant Professor of Surgery
University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate
HSM declares that she has no competing interests.
Dr Mason would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Jose A Martagon-Villamil, Dr Daniel Skiest, Dr Gina Berthold, and Dr Liron Pantanowitz, previous contributors to this monograph. JAMV, DS and GB declare that they have no competing interests. LP is a co-author of 2 references cited in this monograph.
Consultant Medical Oncologist/Senior Lecturer
Department of Medical Oncology
Imperial College/Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust
Charing Cross Hospital
JS declares that he has no competing interests.
The G. Rainey Williams Professor of Surgical Oncology
University of Oklahoma
WD declares that he has no competing interests.
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