Spectrum of breast disease encountered in HIV-positive patients at a community teaching hospital

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Introduction: HIV infection directly and indirectly affects breast tissue. This study describes the spectrum of HIV-related breast disease encountered at a community teaching hospital. Methods: A 9 year retrospective review was performed of HIV-positive patients with a breast-related diagnosis seen at our institution. Patient demographics, HIV status, comorbid disease, medications, clinical findings, diagnostic procedure, pathology, treatment and outcome were recorded. Results: A total of 46 individuals were included with a median age of 47 years (range 24-64 years) and male:female ratio of 1:3 (12 men and 34 women). Mean duration of HIV infection was 7 years during which time 46% of patients had an AIDS defining illness. Median CD4 cell count was 437 cells/mm3 (range 2 to ≥500 cells/mm3) at the time of the breast diagnosis. Breast disease identified included benign conditions (59% total: 92% for men, 47% for women), infection (17% total: 8% for men, 21% for women), cancer (22% total: 0% for men, 29% for women), and atypia (2% total: 0% for men, 3% for women). Patients with a breast infection had a lower median CD4 cell count than those with breast cancer or benign conditions. Gynecomastia was detected in seven out of 12 (58%) men. In these men, antiretroviral therapy (ART) of all drug classes was associated with gynecomastia. Breast cancer occurred only in women and included patients with invasive ductal carcinoma (n=7), ductal carcinoma in situ (n=2), and liposarcoma diagnosed in one individual. Specific risk factors for breast cancer in this setting were not identified. Five (11%) patients died, only one from breast disease during the study period. Conclusion: These data indicate that increased longevity in patients with chronic HIV infection may be associated with the occurrence of breast conditions in both men and women. A broad spectrum of breast disease should be anticipated in HIV-infected persons living longer with effective ART. © 2010.




Pantanowitz, L., Sen, S., Crisi, G. M., Makari-Judson, G., Garb, J., & Skiest, D. (2011). Spectrum of breast disease encountered in HIV-positive patients at a community teaching hospital. Breast, 20(4), 303–308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2010.08.003

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