Male tuberculous mastitis: A rare entity

Carmen Cantisani, T. Lazic, M. Salvi, A. G. Richetta, F. Frascani, F. De Gado, C. Mattozzi, G. Fazia, S. Calvieri

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2 Scopus citations


A 28-year old male presented to our clinic complaining of a recent onset of a painful right breast lump with redness and nipple discharge. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy revealed caseating granulomas, with a culture positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He was found to have a positive PPD, but no other site of pulmonary or extra-pulmonary tuberculosis was identified. Treatment with anti-tuberculous drugs lead to complete clinical resolution of the breast lesion. The breast is a rare site of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), comprising only 0.1% of all cases. TB is re-emerging in the Western world with the increasing prevalence of immunosuppressive disorders. Increasing immigration rates and widespread travel are further contributing to TB globalization. With the re-emergence of TB, atypical forms are appearing, with an increase in the proportion of extra-pulmonary disease and a widening of the age range at presentation. Tuberculous mastitis(TM) is found mostly in young, multiparous women. Male TM is extremely rare, and accounts for only 4% of all cases. This strikingly lower incidence in males points towards a significant role of parity, pregnancy and lactation as likely predisposing factors. Although a rare disease, TM is an important differential diagnosis for breast cancer. A high index of suspicion is the cornerstone for diagnosis. Awareness of this condition is important not only for dermatologists, but for surgeons, radiologists and pathologists, as well. Clinicians are encouraged to provide a careful assessment of the breasts, an important organ also in men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e293-e295
JournalClinica Terapeutica
Issue numberSUPPL.4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Antituberculous drugs
  • Breast cancer
  • Caseating granulomas
  • Mastitis
  • Tuberculosis


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