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Lupus Mastitis: A Clinicopathologic Review and Addition of a Case

Summers, Thomas A. Jr MD*; Lehman, Michael B. MD; Barner, Ross MD*; Royer, Michael C. MD*

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: January 2009 - Volume 16 - Issue 1 - p 56-61
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e3181915ff7
Review Articles

Lupus mastitis (LM) is a rare presentation of lupus erythematosus profundus or lupus panniculitis, an unusual and rare clinical variant of lupus erythematosus itself in which the inflammatory reaction occurs primarily in the deep subcutaneous adipose. Although not required for diagnosis, essentially all cases of LM present with systemic or discoid lupus. The etiology is uncertain. Histologically it is defined by a lymphocytic lobular panniculitis and a characteristic hyaline sclerosis of the adipose tissue. Treatment is primarily medical due to exacerbation of disease by surgical intervention. A high index of suspicion, and familiarity of the histologic findings, is therefore required to make an accurate diagnosis and prevent further unwarranted diagnostic procedures. Herein, we provide a literature-based review of the clinical, radiologic, and pathologic findings of LM and its treatment and prognosis with the addition of a case for the literature.

*Department of Anatomic Pathology, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC

Department of Anatomic Pathology, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Sources of Support: None.

Disclosure: The opinions and assertions expressed are solely those of the authors, and are in no way to be construed to represent the opinions and assertions of the United States Government, the United States Department of Defense, or the Departments of the Army or Navy.

Reprints: Thomas A. Summers, Jr, MD, Department of Anatomic Pathology, Building 2, 6900 Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20307 (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.