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Am Surg. 2010 Mar;76(3):292-5.

Management of breast abscesses in nonlactating women.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Avon Comprehensive Breast Center at Grady, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30308, USA.


Breast abscess in nonlactating women is a rare clinic-pathological entity. A retrospective analysis of all cases of breast abscesses in nonlactating women in a community teaching hospital from 2000 to 2006 was performed. We analyzed their clinical characteristics, prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM), surgical and medical management, and clinical outcome. We identified 116 breast abscesses in 98 nonlactating women; 89 per cent of patients were black. At presentation, 63 patients (64%) had a known history of DM and eight patients (8%) had newly diagnosed DM. Patients with DM had an increased length of hospital stay than nondiabetic women (P < 0.01). Most patients (70%) were treated with incision and drainage and antibiotics with a mean time of abscess resolution of 47 +/- 54 days. There was no correlation with breast abscess and smoking history. Glycemic control was suboptimal with 46 per cent of subjects receiving insulin therapy during the hospital stay. We found a high prevalence of DM (72%) in nonlactating women presenting with breast abscess. Diabetic women had a longer hospital stay and longer duration of the abscess compared with the patients without diabetes. Diabetes screening in nonlactating women with breast abscess and intensified glycemic control might improve clinical outcome.

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