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BMJ Case Rep. 2010 Nov 18;2010. pii: bcr0320102844. doi: 10.1136/bcr.03.2010.2844.

Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis: a great imitator?

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The patient in this case was seen by numerous doctors for a long time before the diagnosis was made because, right from the start, an abscess or a cancer of the breast was suspected. She was first seen by her general practitioner (GP); thereafter, she went to two consultant physicians and a surgeon in a regional hospital and eventually an idiopathic granulomatous mastitis (IGM) diagnosis was made by a specialist in internal medicine in a university hospital. When the diagnosis IGM was made, the patient was treated with steroids and made a complete recovery. Although the incidence of IGM is not high, the GPs are likely to see these patients initially and should be aware of the existence of this disease, which may spare the patient unnecessary consultations, diagnostics tests or even mastectomy.

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