Breast Imaging - Original Article

Breast diseases in children: the spectrum of radiologic findings in a cohort study


  • Emel Durmaz
  • Murat Alp Öztek
  • Hatice Arıöz Habibi
  • Uğur Kesimal
  • Hakkı Timur Sindel

Received Date: 27.01.2017 Accepted Date: 05.06.2017 Diagn Interv Radiol 2017;23(6):407-413


We aimed to investigate the spectrum of radiologic findings and referral reasons for breast diseases in children considering age-appropriate presentation.


Our retrospective cohort study included 348 consecutive pediatric patients aged <19 years (median, 13 years) referred to radiology with a clinical presentation between 2005 and 2016. Radiologic findings were reviewed in four age ranges (0–2 years, 2–8 years, 8–15 years, >15 years).


Of 348 patients, 257 had a referral reason. The most frequent referral reason was a palpable mass (35%). Developmental abnormalities accounted for 48% of all radiologic findings in 348 patients. We did not detect any breast malignancy. According to age groups, the most common radiologic findings were neonatal hypertrophy (0–2 years), early breast development (2–8 years), developmental abnormalities by a majority of gynecomastia (8–15 years), and normal findings or developmental abnormalities (>15 years). Interestingly, the frequency of gynecomastia was only 4% in neonatal period or early childhood. Fibroadenomas and fibroadenoma-like solid masses were seen after 8 years and constituted the majority of solid masses (65%). Cysts were seen at a rate of 7% and majority of them were of simple type, which tends to resolve in time.


In our study, the most common referral reason to radiology was a palpable breast mass. Neonatal hypertrophy and early breast development in younger children, and developmental abnormalities in older children may be kept in mind as the most common radiologic findings. Our study confirms the substantial absence of malignancies in children as well as a widely different disease spectrum in comparison with the adult population.