Breast - nonmalignant
Inflammatory / infectious
Fat necrosis of breast

Author: Hind Nassar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 26 July 2017, last major update March 2010

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Fat necrosis [title] breast

Cite this page: Fat necrosis of breast. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/breastfatnecrosis.html. Accessed August 24th, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Partially necrotic adipose tissue with foamy macrophages, multinucleated giant cells and chronic inflammatory cells
  • Simulates carcinoma clinically and mammographically (AJR Am J Roentgenol 2009;192:815)
Clinical features
Clinical images

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Skin and fat necrosis due to methylene blue

Gross description
  • Opaque, bright yellow
Gross images

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Hemorrhagic fat necrosis

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Partially necrotic adipose tissue with foamy macrophages, multinucleated giant cells and chronic inflammatory cells
  • Often hemosiderin deposits, fibrosis and calcification
  • Occasional metaplastic squamous epithelium
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Tumefactive (producing swelling), courtesy of Dr. Mark R. Wick

With metaplastic
squamous epithelium
and keratin whorls (AFIP)



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Foamy macrophages and calcifications

Disruption of fat, lipid laden macrophages

Infarcted fat cells


Foreign body giant cell reaction

Foreign body granuloma

Irregular fatty spaces and foamy macrophages

Giant cells

Giant cells engulfing lipid

Cytology images

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Various stages of fat necrosis

Pap stain (inset Giemsa)

Videos


Histopathology breast - fat necrosis, traumatic