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Open Access Highly Accessed Case Report

Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis: a mimicking disease in a pregnant woman: a case report

Juan A Garcia-Rodiguez1* and Andrew Pattullo2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Sunridge Family Medicine Teaching Centre, 2685 – 36 Street NE, Calgary, AB, T1Y 5S3, Canada

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Division Infectious Diseases, Rockyview General Hospital, 7007 14th Street SW, Calgary, AB, T2V 1P9, Canada

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BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:95  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-95

Published: 14 March 2013



Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis is a rare, benign, inflammatory chronic condition of unclear etiology.

This case is reported because it illustrates how idiopathic granulomatous mastitis can mimic other diseases, making it difficult to associate the presenting symptoms and the correct diagnosis; This disease is a challenge for clinicians to diagnose, manage and avoid iatrogenic complications, and requires consultation with experts in several specialties.

Case presentation

The patient was 30 years old, South-American, eleven weeks pregnant, and with an apparent infectious mastitis. She presented with progressive worsening of her breast symptoms and multiple negative laboratory tests. She suffered different side effects from several prescribed treatments and endured a prolonged recovery. The article emphasizes the need for ruling out common pathologies to arrive at the correct diagnosis such as bacterial and fungal infections; granulomatous conditions like tuberculosis and sarcoidosis; and inflammatory breast carcinoma. It also describes frequently used pharmacological and supplementary forms of treatment for patients with this condition.


Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis is a rare unusual condition of unknown etiology. Pathological confirmation is required for its diagnosis and optimal management is still unclear. The presentation and management of this case is intended to advance its awareness to physicians from different specialties.

Granulomatous mastitis; Breast abscess; Idiopathic; Diagnosis; Corticosteroid