Breast - nonmalignant
Inflammatory / infectious

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

Revised: 26 July 2017, last major update April 2010

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

PubMed Search: Infarct [title] breast

Cite this page: Infarct. website. Accessed October 17th, 2018.
  • Most common during pregnancy or postpartum
  • Associated with intraductal papilloma, fibroadenoma, pregnancy-like hyperplasia, lactating adenoma or phyllodes tumor, possibly due to interruption of blood supply
  • Associated with fine needle aspiration (Arch Pathol Lab Med 1996;120:1069)
Clinical features
  • May be spontaneous (J Clin Pathol 1975;28:937)
  • Special stains (reticulin or trichrome) may demonstrate residual fibrous structure
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Necrosis and ghost cells, hemosiderin; usually no thrombi are identified
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Infarct in
breast with
lactational change

Outlines of ductules in infarcted tissue

Images hosted on other servers:

Sharply circumscribed border

Partial infarction of hyperplastic lobules

Organizing thrombus in vein

Partial luminal
obliteration of
medium sized
vessels (elastic stain)

necrosis of
hyperplastic lobules
(reticulin stain)

Infarct with foamy macrophages

Infarcted lactating adenoma; note zonal pattern

Cytology description
  • Initially degenerated cells with smudged nuclei, ghost cells and necrotic debris; later fibroblasts, ductal cells and necrotic debris (Diagn Cytopathol 2006;34:373)