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Pathological Findings in Gynecomastia

Analysis of 5113 Breasts

Lapid, Oren MD*; Jolink, Folkert MD*; Meijer, Sybren L. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3182920aed
Breast Surgery

Objective This study aimed to analyze the histopathology results of surgically excised breast specimens with the diagnosis of gynecomastia (GM).

Summary Background Data Gynecomastia is a term used to describe benign hypertrophy of the breast in men; it is a common, mostly transient, phenomenon in adolescents, but may also be seen in older men. Breast enlargement can lead to psychological problems; if it persists it can be surgically corrected. The obtained breast tissue specimens are routinely submitted for pathological examination. We performed this study to assess the prevalence of pathological findings after surgical management of GM.

Methods Pathology reports were obtained from the nationwide network and registry of histopathology and cytopathology in the Netherlands (PALGA). The reports of 5113 breasts were analyzed for the prevalence of pathologies in different age groups.

Results The average age of the patients was 35.3 ± 18.3 years (range, 1–88 years). The most common finding was GM followed by pseudo-GM. The overall prevalence of invasive carcinomas was 0.11% and of in situ carcinomas was 0.18%. The youngest patient with invasive cancer was 65 years old and the youngest patient with carcinoma in situ was 24 years old. The overall prevalence of atypical ductal hyperplasia was 0.4%; in patients younger than 20 years, it was 0.23%. The youngest patient with atypical ductal hyperplasia was 16 years old. Pathological findings were found more often in unilateral procedures.

Conclusions The prevalence of malignancies in GM resection specimens is low; however, it increases with patient age. Unilateral cases have a statistically nonsignificant higher prevalence of pathologies.

Level of evidence: Prognostic/risk II.

From the Departments of *Plastic Reconstructive and Hand Surgery and †Pathology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Received December 20, 2012, and accepted for publication, after revision, March 12, 2013.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Oren Lapid, MD, Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Room G7-251, Meibergdreef 9, postbus 22660, 1100 DD Amsterdam, the Netherlands. E-mail:

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