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01.12.2016 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Dermatology 1/2016

Nipple adenoma in a female patient presenting with persistent erythema of the right nipple skin: case report, review of the literature, clinical implications, and relevancy to health care providers who evaluate and treat patients with dermatologic conditions of the breast skin

BMC Dermatology > Ausgabe 1/2016
Gina P. Spohn, Shannon C. Trotter, Gary Tozbikian, Stephen P. Povoski



Nipple adenoma is a very uncommon, benign proliferative process of lactiferous ducts of the nipple. Clinically, it often presents as a palpable nipple nodule, a visible nipple skin erosive lesion, and/or with discharge from the surface of the nipple skin, and is primarily seen in middle-aged women. Resultantly, nipple adenoma can clinically mimic the presentation of mammary Paget’s disease of the nipple. The purpose of our current case report is to present a comprehensive review of the available data on nipple adenoma, as well as provide useful information to health care providers (including dermatologists, breast health specialists, and other health care providers) who evaluate patients with dermatologic conditions of the breast skin for appropriately clinically recognizing, diagnosing, and treating patients with nipple adenoma.

Case presentation

Fifty-three year old Caucasian female presented with a one year history of erythema and induration of the skin of the inferior aspect of the right nipple/areolar region. Skin punch biopsies showed subareolar duct papillomatosis. The patient elected to undergo complete surgical excision with right central breast resection. Final histopathologic evaluation confirmed nipple adenoma. The patient is doing well 31 months after her definitive surgical therapy.


Since nipple adenoma represents a benign proliferative process of the nipple, complete surgical excision is curative. However, the coexistence of nipple adenoma and ipsilateral or contralateral breast cancer is well reported in the literature. The potential for a direct causal link or association of nipple adenoma and breast cancer cannot be fully excluded.
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