Ectopic axillary breast tissue

Case contributed by Dr Domenico Nicoletti


Palpable axillary lump (propable lipoma) which had tenderness before the menstrual cycle.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Female

MRI left shoulder

On MRI sequences signal intensities similar to normal breast parenchyma but discontinuous with it were demonstrated. It is important to differentiate benign from malignant axillary masses to avoid unnecessary intervention.



 MLO views demonstrate asymmetric glandular tissue superimposed on the left pectoral muscle, consistent with accessory glandular tissue without nipple in the axilla. There are no lesions or suspicious calcifications.

Case Discussion

Some women with accessory glandular tissue in the axillae may present describing palpable findings with associated pain in the axillae that fluctuate with their cycles. MRI is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of accessory breast tissue especially in the peripubertal–pubertal girls and young patients. Supernumerary breast tissue may be affected by the same diseases and alterations that compromise normal breast tissue.


Case courtesy: Dr.ssa Eleonora Renzi

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