[Literature Summary] A practical summary of acute mastitis

2 min read /
Obstetrics / Gynaecology Paediatrics Public health Nutrition & Disease Management
[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.

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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