The clinical and pathological features of nine cases of granulomatous mastitis were compared with those of 10 cases of duct ectasia/periductal mastitis (DE/PM), all of which were associated with active granulomatous inflammation. Granulomatous mastitis affects a younger age group, and although there is some overlap with DE/PM, it has distinctive pathological features, particularly a lobule centred distribution, for which the term "granulomatous lobular mastitis" is recommended. There is a strong tendency for persistence or recurrence. Our cases of granulomatous mastitis all occurred in parous women, five of them within three years of pregnancy. Awareness of this condition is important, because surgery does not offer the best treatment of recurrent disease, and trials of adequate drug treatment, including corticosteroids, are required.
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