[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 19, 1924


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Anatomy, Washington University.

JAMA. 1924;82(16):1247-1248. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02650420011006

In reviewing the literature since 1837 under anomalies of the breast, I noted that the hereditary factor in polymastia was pointed out by Lichtenstern,1 Peterquin,2 Bonnet,3 Neugebauer4 and Otani.5

Of the seven cases at Barnes Hospital and the Washington University outpatient clinic, in the last year, it has been possible to trace the heredity of this anomaly in but one family. In this instance it was found in four generations.

According to Champneys and Bowley,6 Bacon7 and Seitz,8 there is a distinction to be drawn between true polymastia (micromammae) and accumulations of breast tissue, or glands that histologically resemble breast tissue and are independent of the normally located breasts. They assert that many cases of so-called polymastia described by the earlier writers (Otani,5 Iwai9 and Kayser10) are merely an hypertrophy and differentiation of the large sweat glands of the