Plasma cell mastitis

Last revised by Dr Tania Mercado Avendaño on 08 Jul 2021

Plasma cell mastitis is a benign breast condition that represents calcification of inspissated secretions in or immediately adjacent to ectatic benign ducts. It is clinically relevant since it shares some clinical, microscopical and macroscopical similarities with breast cancer 5

It is typically seen in nonpregnant and non-lactating females 6

It is thought to represent aseptic inflammation with infiltration of plasma cells and lymphocytes in the breast tissue from the extravasation of intraductal secretions into periductal connective tissue 5

Plasma cell mastitis has a characteristic appearance. Calcifications are thick, linear, rod-like or cigar-shaped. Calcifications can be up to 10 mm long. They tend to be bilateral, often symmetrical in distribution and oriented with long axes pointing toward the nipple1. Branching may sometimes be seen. 

Compared to microcalcifications of DCIS or ductal carcinoma, calcifications of plasma cell mastitis are larger in both length and caliber and have a smoother outline. 

It is a benign entity and there is no increased risk of malignancy 3.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2: with associated fibroadenomas
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4
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