Pediatric and adolescent breast masses: A review of pathophysiology, imaging, diagnosis, and treatment

Heather J. Kaneda, Julie Mack, Claudia J. Kasales, Susann Schetter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. Pediatric breast masses are relatively rare and most are benign. Most are either secondary to normal developmental changes or neoplastic processes with a relatively benign behavior. To fully understand pediatric breast disease, it is important to have a firm comprehension of normal development and of the various tumors that can arise. Physical examination and targeted history (including family history) are key to appropriate patient management. When indicated, ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice. The purpose of this article is to review the benign breast conditions that arise as part of the spectrum of normal breast development, as well as the usually benign but neoplastic process that may develop within an otherwise normal breast. Rare primary carcinomas and metastatic lesions to the pediatric breast will also be addressed. The associated imaging findings will be reviewed, as well as treatment strategies for clinical management of the pediatric patient with signs or symptoms of breast disease. CONCLUSION. The majority of breast abnormalities in the pediatric patient are benign, but malignancies do occur. Careful attention to patient presentation, history, and clinical findings will help guide appropriate imaging and therapeutic decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)W204-W212
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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