[Literature Summary] A practical summary of acute mastitis

[Literature Summary] A practical summary of acute mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of breast tissues that may involve infection. This literature summarises practical information to diagnose and manage acute mastitis.

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Mastitis, inflammation of breast tissues, can be classified into lactational and non-lactational mastitis including periductal mastitis and idiopathic granulomatous mastitis. Lactational mastitis is the most common form and usually occurs after a period of incomplete drainage and milk stasis. Some take home messages are as below.

A key consideration in treating lactational mastitis is continuing to empty the breast,

  • Encouraging patients to continue to breastfeed if desired, or
  • Encouraging the use of a breast pump or hand expression

Supportive measures can be used to manage lactational mastitis conservatively for the first 12 to 24 hours

  • Antibiotic treatment should be started if symptoms do not improve after this period

If there is no improvement of symptoms in 24 to 28 hours,

  • Possibility of a breast abscess should be considered and an ultrasound should be obtained

Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis, a rare condition, is often mistaken for breast carcinoma

  • A biopsy must be carried out to diagnose the condition and to eliminate more serious pathology

Link to publication:



Blackmon MM, Nguyen H, Mukherji P. Acute Mastitis. 2020 Jul 21. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan. PMID: 32491714.

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