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Article
September 18, 1987

Acute, Diffuse, Nontender Edema of the Left Breast in a 50-Year-Old Woman

Author Affiliations

USA; USA; USA; USA; USA
From the Department of Radiology (Drs Seibel, Hopper, and Ghaed), the Hematology-Oncology Service (Dr Hess), and the Department of Medicine (Dr Hockenbury), Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, Colo.

USA; USA; USA; USA; USA
From the Department of Radiology (Drs Seibel, Hopper, and Ghaed), the Hematology-Oncology Service (Dr Hess), and the Department of Medicine (Dr Hockenbury), Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, Colo.

JAMA. 1987;258(11):1515-1516. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400110097034
Abstract

History  A 50-year-old woman presented with acute, diffuse, nontender swelling of the left breast and axilla.Low-dose plain film mammography was performed (Fig 1). Roentgenograms of the chest were obtained. The patient was referred to the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, Colo, 11 days later for surgery with a diagnosis of probable inflammatory carcinoma of the left breast.On admission to the medical center the patient demonstrated mild respiratory distress and showed distention of the jugular venous system and edema of the supraclavicular area bilaterally. The left breast was swollen and erythematous and showed peu-d'orange changes of the skin extending into the left arm. A large, firm mass was noted in the left axilla. Roentgenograms of the chest were repeated (Fig 2). Xeromammography was performed to better penetrate the breast (Fig 3). Multiple biopsy samples of the left breast were obtained.

Diagnosis  Unilateral edema of the left breast mimicking inflammatory

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