Nipple adenoma: a review of the literature

Mark Richard Tatterton, Roanne Fiddes


Nipple adenomas (NA) are benign proliferations that can behave in a locally infiltrative manner and can thus mimic and present with features of breast malignancy. This article presents an up-to-date review of the literature on the presentation, diagnosis pathological assessment and surgical treatment of these rare lesions. A Medline, PubMed and OVID search was performed for all articles on nipple adenomata using keywords “nipple” and “adenoma, papillomatosis, adenosis, syringomatous, erosive, pathology and nodule”. The literature on nipple adenomata consists mainly of case series or case reports, with a variety of management techniques described. Nipple adenomata remain rare benign proliferations with most standard breast units expecting to see one to two cases per year. Mammography and ultrasound remain the most common imaging modalities for diagnosis. They can be locally infiltrative and definitive treatment remains surgical excision with clear margins. Assessment by histological analysis is essential to accurately confirm diagnosis, exclude malignancy and confirm clear margins.