Table 1

Summary of definitions describing granulomatous inflammatory lesions of the breast

TermYearAuthorsDescription/definition
GM1971 (first use in English literature)Miller et al 116 ‘An acute and chronic inflammatory exudate involving mammary lobules with numerous foreign-body giant cells present within the inflammatory exudate’, with squamous metaplasia and ulceration in one of the lactiferous ducts
1972Kessler and Wolloch87 ‘A well-defined entity characterised by multiple granulomas and abscess formation in women of childbearing age, 1.5–5 years after their last deliveries’
2018 (most recent review)Barreto et al 117 ‘Characterised by non-caseating granulomas around the lobules and ducts in the breast without specific infectious agents, trauma, or foreign bodies’, with variable microabscess formation, ‘not all cases have characteristic granulomas, but all cases have epithelioid histiocytes’
GLM1987 (first use in English literature)Going et al 118 ‘Parous young women with diffuse granulomatous inflammation centred on lobular units, emphasising the single most important histological feature and avoids the vagueness of granulomatous mastitis’
2016 (most recent review)Zhou et al 119 ‘An unusual breast benign inflammatory disorder first described byKessler and Wolloch in 1972. The aetiology of GLM is unknown, but growing evidences suggest that various factors, including microbiology agents, hormonal effect and immunological disorder, played an important role in disease occurrence. Microscopic features show a chronic non-necrotising granulomatous inflammation in lobules of the breast tissue’
IGM1994 (first use in English literature)De Sanctis et al 120 ‘Multiple non-caseating epithelioid granulomas in association with zones of necrotic adipose tissue’
2017 (most recent review)Lei et al 113 ‘Also known as granulomatous lobular mastitis, first described byKessler and Wolloch in 1972. A benign inflammatory condition of the breast with no obvious aetiology. The clinical manifestations include inflammatory skin changes, lump, ulcer, fistula and so on. The histological features of IGM are non-caseating granulomatous inflammation, centred on breast lobules, with or without microabscesses. A definitive diagnosis should be established based on clinical, radiological, or sonographic appearance, as well as the histological examination’
IGLM2010 (first use in English literature)Boarki and Labib14 ‘A chronic necrotising granulomatous lobulitis of unknown aetiology. First described by Kessler and Wolloch’
2012 (most recent review)Pereira et al 15 ‘First described by Kessler and Wolloch in 1972. Granulomas, epithelioid cells, multinucleated giant cells, acute and chronic inflammatory cells and neutrophilic microabscesses are seen around lobular units. In some cases, the inflammation is sufficiently intense to obliterate the lobular architecture’
CNGM2011Renshaw et al 3 ‘Enlarged vacuoles within neutrophilic inflammation’ with discrete, well-formed granulomas and GPB within the cystic spaces in some cases
  • CNGM, cystic neutrophilic granulomatous mastitis; GLM, granulomatous lobular mastitis; GM, granulomatous mastitis; GPB, gram-positive bacilli; IGLM, idiopathic granulomatous lobular mastitis; IGM, idiopathic granulomatous mastitis.