IMAGING FINDINGS: Craniocaudal view of the right breast demonstrates diffuse skin thickening. There is no underlying mass visualized.
WHY IT MATTERS:
Mastitis is usually a clinical diagnosis that does not necessitate imaging. However, imaging is often obtained to evaluate for an underlying abscess or fluid collection.
Occasionally, breast imaging is requested to help decide whether the skin changes are due to infection (i.e. mastitis) versus inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Mastitis typically presents as rapid onset of painful skin erythema. There may be associated systemic fever or chills. Whereas, inflammatory breast cancer is typically painless
Mastitis on mammography or breast ultrasound presents as skin thickening without an underlying mass or fluid collection. Typically there is not axillary lymphadenopathy, unless it is a longer standing infection.