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Eur J Pediatr. 2001 Jun;160(6):375-7.

Familial polythelia over three generations with polymastia in the youngest girl.

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  • 1Children's Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.


Supernumerary nipples or polythelia are developmental abnormalities located along the embryonic mammary lines. It is the most common form of accessory breast tissue malformation and usually occurs sporadically but familial aggregation has been reported. Polythelia has been reported in association with congenital malformations, in particular with renal anomalies. Polymastia in female patients has been reported to manifest usually during pregnancy or lactation. We report on a pedigree with six cases of polythelia over three generations and one case of polythelia and polymastia in the youngest member of this family. The girl (11 years old ) had in addition to six supernumerary nipples, an accessory breast gland located under the normal left breast. No other congenital malformations could be detected. This girl will remain under follow-up until the end of puberty when the accessory breast gland will be removed. Manifestation of polymastia during puberty rarely has been reported.


Polymastia may appear with familial polythelia even without renal anomalies.

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