Breast lesions in children and adolescents: Diagnosis and management

Eun Ji Lee, Yun Woo Chang, Jung Hee Oh, Jiyoung Hwang, Seong Sook Hong, Hyun Joo Kim

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27 Scopus citations


Pediatric breast disease is uncommon, and primary breast carcinoma in children is extremely rare. Therefore, the approach used to address breast lesions in pediatric patients differs from that in adults in many ways. Knowledge of the normal imaging features at various stages of development and the characteristics of breast disease in the pediatric population can help the radiologist to make confident diagnoses and manage patients appropriately. Most breast diseases in children are benign or associated with breast development, suggesting a need for conservative treatment. Interventional procedures might affect the developing breast and are only indicated in a limited number of cases. Histologic examination should be performed in pediatric patients, taking into account the size of the lesion and clinical history together with the imaging findings. A core needle biopsy is useful for accurate diagnosis and avoidance of irreparable damage in pediatric patients. Biopsy should be considered in the event of abnormal imaging findings, such as non-circumscribed margins, complex solid and cystic components, posterior acoustic shadowing, size above 3 cm, or an increase in mass size. A clinical history that includes a risk factor for malignancy, such as prior chest irradiation, known concurrent cancer not involving the breast, or family history of breast cancer, should prompt consideration of biopsy even if the lesion has a probably benign appearance on ultrasonography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-991
Number of pages14
JournalKorean Journal of Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Korean Society of Radiology.


  • Adolescence
  • Child
  • Cyst
  • Fibroadenoma
  • Gynecomastia
  • Normal development
  • Pediatric breast
  • Phyllodes tumor
  • Sonography


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