Other nonneoplastic


Topic Completed: 1 January 2016

Minor changes: 20 June 2020

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Galactocele [title] breast

Monika Roychowdhury, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 7,271
Page views in 2021 to date: 7,356
Cite this page: Roychowdhury M. Galactocele. website. Accessed October 16th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Milk filled retention cyst beneath areola, common in young women who are pregnant or breast feeding
  • Due to abrupt cessation of lactation
Essential features
  • Milk filled retention cyst due to blockade of breast duct
  • Occurs in young women who are pregnant or breast feeding
  • Mass lesion on imaging, mimics lipoma or cancer (history is helpful)
  • FNA / histology shows fat / protein contents, inflammation, debris and secretory epithelial cells
  • Benign; diagnostic aspiration may be curative
  • Blockage of breast duct due to lactation
Radiology description
  • Mammogram: oval circumscribed mass with high radiolucency due to high fat content (mimics lipoma)
Radiology images

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Case reports
  • Aspiration or no treatment
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Dilated, anastomosing, epithelium lined channels, often with secretory activity
  • Cyst contents may leak into adjacent tissue and cause lipogranulomatous reaction with foamy macrophages (J Cutan Pathol 2010;37:973)
Cytology images

Contributed by Dhiraj B Nikumbh M.D.

27 year old woman with 1.5 cm nontender breast nodule and FNAC

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