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Open Access Research article

Breast tuberculosis in Northeast Iran: review of 22 cases

Behnaz Khodabakhshi1 and Fatemeh Mehravar2*

Author Affiliations

1 Infectious Diseases Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Shastkola Road, Gorgan, Iran

2 School of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 5TH Floor, Poorsina St, Keshavarz Ave, Postal Box: 14155–6446, Tehran, Iran

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BMC Women's Health 2014, 14:72  doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-72

Published: 31 May 2014



Breast tuberculosis (breast TB) is an extremely rare disease, so case reviews are also rare.


This study is a retrospective review of patients with breast TB who were treated between 2002 and 2012 at the Health Center of Gorgan City.


All 22 patients were females, their mean age was 32.4 years, and all were new cases. Patients presented with swelling of the breast (22%), lump (55%) and excretion from the involved breast (27%), and breast pain (55%). The highest rate of breast TB occurred in 2011 (27%). All patients received the DOTS regimen for a mean duration of 7.3 ± 0.7 months; in addition, segmental resection was performed on 11 patients (50%).


The findings confirmed that breast TB in Iran should be considered as a differential diagnosis of breast masses. All patients in our study received the daily and ‘Directly Observed Treatment Short-course’ (DOTS) regimens. Anti-tubercular therapy for six months with or without minimal surgical intervention currently is the main treatment.

Breast tuberculosis; Mammary tuberculosis; Tuberculosis treatment; IRAN