Breast infection in lactating mothers is a common entity which in the majority of cases can be explained by ascending infections. However, it has been noticed that the number of non lactating women presenting with breast abscesses is rising. This study attempts to explore the sensitivity pattern of organisms and underlying cause of breast infections in non-lactating women.
Materials and Methods:
This review was undertaken at King Fahd of the University, Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia between 1991-2003. All patients presenting with breast infections were included. Medical records, operative notes, cultures, histopathology reports and outcome were reviewed.
The number of patients presenting with breast infections accounted for 179(3.5%) out of the total number of patients 6314 with variable breast complaints. Infection occurred in 136(76%) lactating women (Group I) ,while Non lactating (Group II) breast infections accounted for 43(24%). Age ranged from 24 years to 52 years. Underlying clinical conditions were found in 26 patients(60%) in Group II namely granulomatous mastitis13(50%), duct ectasia4 (15.3%), pregnancy3(11.5%), fat necrosis1(3.8%), diabetes3 (11.5%) and breast cancer 2(7.6%). The pattern of culture results was different in the two groups, from differing causative organisms namely staphylococcus aureus as the commonest organism in both groups, in comparison to such uncommon organisms as Klebsiella pneumonae, Peptococcus magnus, Streptococcus group B, Entro-bacter cloacae, Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis occurring in group II only. Fortunately, all organisms were sensitive to antimicrobial therapy.
Breast infection in non-lactating women is an infrequent but recognized clinical entity that deserves special attention. An underlying clinical condition should always be sought and treated. Indeed, in addition to cultures, radiological modalities such as ultrasonographic imaging may provide specific diagnosis and aid the management.