Superficial thrombophlebitis of the breast

Last updated: January 20, 2023

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Superficial thrombophlebitis of the breast, often referred to as Mondor disease of the breast, is a benign and self-limited thrombophlebitis of the superficial veins of the breast and/or anterolateral chest wall. The exact etiology is unknown, but it may be associated with trauma (including breast surgery and radiation). The condition characteristically manifests with the sudden onset of a tender cord-like induration. Although the diagnosis is primarily clinical, age-appropriate breast imaging is required in all patients to rule out concomitant breast cancer. On imaging, superficial thrombophlebitis typically appears as a superficial dilated tubular structure with a characteristic beaded appearance; an intraluminal thrombus may be visible on Doppler ultrasound. Management is mainly supportive.

Superficial thrombophlebitis of the breast may rarely be associated with underlying invasive breast cancer. [1]

  1. ACOG. Practice Bulletin No. 164 Diagnosis and management of benign breast disorders. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2016; 127 (6): p.e141-e156. doi: 10.1097/aog.0000000000001482 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  2. Dodelzon K, Katzen JT. Evaluation of Palpable Breast Abnormalities. J Breast Imaging. 2019; 1 (3): p.253-263. doi: 10.1093/jbi/wbz040 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  3. Thrush S, Dixon JM. Benign breast disease. Elsevier ; 2014 : p. 268-293

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