Clinical and Cytological Spectrum of Granulomatous Mastitis and Utility of FNAC in Picking up Tubercular Mastitis: An Eight-Year Study
Dr. Divya Achutha Ail,
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College and Hospital,
Narhe, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: Granulomatous Mastitis (GM) is a rare, benign, inflammatory disease of the breast. It is a well known mimicker of malignancy, clinically and radiologically. Patients are often subjected to number of tests for the right diagnosis. Non-specific Granulomatous Mastitis (NGM) and Tubercular Mastitis (TBM) are chief among the various causes of GM. They are important to be diagnosed early as their treatment varies significantly. Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) is simple, patient friendly and primary investigation modality in cases of lump in breast.
Aim: To find out the utility of FNAC in differentiating NGM and TBM.
Materials and Methods: All cases of granulomatous mastitis diagnosed on cytology over eight years were retrospectively retrieved. The clinical and radiological history was obtained from the patient file. The slides were stained with haematoxylin and eosin stain as well as Leishman stains. Special stains like Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS) and Ziehl Neelsen (ZN) stain were used for fungus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis respectively. Histopathological correlation of the available cases was done. Clinical presentation and cytological morphology of individual cases was studied in detail.
Results: Twenty one cases of GM obtained, of which 16 were NGM and five were TBM. Both diseases were common among young reproductive women who presented with unilateral breast lump of varying duration. Almost 25% of NGM and 60% of TBM has clinical suspicion of malignancy. About 30% had radiological suspicion of malignancy. Nearly 62.5% of NGM patients had painful swelling and none of tubercular mastitis patients had pain. About 31% of NGM patients underwent prior abscess drainage and 40% of TBM patients gave history of tuberculosis. Almost 6.25% of NGM and 60% of TBM had axillary lymphadenopathy. Cytologically epithelioid cells were identified in 100% of patients whereas, granulomas were seen in 62.5% and 80% of NGM and TBM smears respectively. Langhans giant cells were frequent among TBM and foreign body giant cell among NGM. Caseous necrosis was seen in 60% of TBM and absent in NGM smears.
Conclusion: Though, NGM and TBM is said to have overlapping features, our study highlights few clinical and cytological differences which aid in differentiating the two entities at primary level. FNAC along with special stain must be advocated as the primary tool of diagnosis in cases of GM.