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Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Sep;31(3):654-9. Epub 2000 Sep 21.

Risk factor analysis for breast cellulitis complicating breast conservation therapy.

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Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Departments of Surgery and Medicine, University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville, Knoxville, TN 37920, USA.


Women who undergo breast conservation therapy for early-stage breast cancer can develop breast cellulitis, a complication for which risk factors are undefined. A matched case-control investigation was conducted to identify risk factors for the development of breast cellulitis among patients who have undergone breast conservation therapy. Patients comprised 17 patients with cases of breast cellulitis diagnosed after partial mastectomies that had been performed from 1992 through 1997 and 34 control patients who were matched to case-patients by date of breast lumpectomy and by primary surgeon. Statistical analyses indicated the following factors were associated with breast cellulitis: drainage of a hematoma (P=.010); postoperative ecchymosis (P=.021); lymphedema (odds ratio [OR], 10. 154; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.348-208.860); resected breast tissue volume (OR, 1.456; 95% CI, 1.035-2.168); and previous number of breast seroma aspirations (OR, 3.445; 95% CI, 1.036-19.771). This is the first matched case-control study to identify risk factors for the development of breast cellulitis after breast conservation therapy.

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