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J Hum Lact. 2006 Nov;22(4):429-33.

History, physical and laboratory findings, and clinical outcomes of lactating women treated with antibiotics for chronic breast and/or nipple pain.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin Medical School, Meriter Hospital Outpatient Lactation Clinic, Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin 53572, USA.


This chart review study describes the history, physical and laboratory findings, and clinical outcomes in patients who presented to a lactation specialist between 1997 and 2002 and were treated with antibiotics for their chronic breast and/or nipple pain. A total of 69 charts were reviewed. Five were excluded because of loss of follow-up. Eighty-two percent of patients described postpartum breast tenderness, 74% had nipple sores postpartum, and 79% were tender on physical examination. Nipple lesions were present among 73% of the women. Breast milk or nipple cultures were performed for 60 of 64 patients and were positive for pathogenic bacteria among 50% of the patients cultured. The average duration of antibiotic treatment was 5.7 weeks, and 94% of the women had pain resolution. Symptoms of deep breast aching, breast tenderness on palpation, and nipple lesions may be suggestive of a bacterial lactiferous duct infection. Treatment with antibiotics for 4 to 6 weeks may be appropriate.

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