Delayed breast cellulitis and breast restoration surgery

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Delayed breast cellulitis and breast restoration surgery

Postby patoco » Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:12 pm

Delayed breast cellulitis: an evolving complication of breast conservation

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Dec

Indelicato DJ, Grobmyer SR, Newlin H, Morris CG, Haigh LS, Copeland EM, Mendenhall NP.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Keywords: Breast cancer, Delayed breast cellulitis, Breast conservation therapy, Radiation therapy, Lymphedema, Infection

PURPOSE: Delayed breast cellulitis (DBC) is characterized by the late onset of breast erythema, edema, tenderness, and warmth. This retrospective study analyzes the risk factors and clinical course of DBC.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: From 1985 through 2004, 580 sequential women with 601 stage T0-2N0-1 breast cancers underwent breast conserving therapy. Cases of DBC were identified according to accepted clinical criteria: diffuse breast erythema, edema, tenderness, and warmth occurring >3 months after definitive surgery and >3 weeks after radiotherapy. Potential risk factors analyzed included patient comorbidity, operative technique, acute complications, and details of adjunctive therapy. Response to treatment and long-term outcome were analyzed to characterize the natural course of this syndrome.

RESULTS: Of the 601 cases, 16%, 52%, and 32% were Stage 0, I, and II, respectively. The overall incidence of DBC was 8% (50/601). Obesity, ecchymoses, T stage, the presence and aspiration of a breast hematoma/seroma, removal of >5 axillary lymph nodes, and arm lymphedema were significantly associated with DBC. The median time to onset of DBC from the date of definitive surgery was 226 days. Ninety-two percent of DBC patients were empirically treated with antibiotics. Fourteen percent required more invasive intervention. Twenty-two percent had recurrent episodes of DBC. Ultimately, 2 patients (4%) underwent mastectomy for intractable breast pain related to DBC.

CONCLUSION: Although multifactorial, we believe DBC is primarily related to a bacterial infection in the setting of impaired lymphatic drainage and may appear months after completion of radiotherapy. Invasive testing before a trial of antibiotics is generally not recommended. ... 8/abstract

Cellulitis of the breast as a complicatino of breast-conserving surgery was reported on as early as 1996 and 1997 in these articles:

The dilemma of delayed cellulitis after breast conservation therapy.

Staren ED, Klepac S, Smith AP, Hartsell WF, Segretti J, Witt TR, Griem KL, Bines SD.
Department of General Surgery, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, III, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinicopathologic characteristics of patients with breast cancers in whom delayed breast cellulitis developed after conservation therapy (lumpectomy, axillary dissection, and radiation).

BACKGROUND: Breast cellulitis developing after conservation therapy represents a difficult diagnostic and management dilemma because determination of its origin may be necessary before further treatment decisions can be made. METHODS: In this retrospective evaluation of 184 sequential patients with breast cancers who underwent conservation therapy, 10 study patients (5%) in whom breast cellulitis developed 3 or more months after surgery were compared with the 174 patients in whom cellulitis did not develop.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference in clinicopathologic characteristics of the study patients compared with control patients. The cellulitis resolved in 5 patients (50%) and persisted from 4 months to more than 1 year in 5 patients (50%). The cellulitis recurred in 1 patient who responded to repeated therapy. The 5 patients with persistent cellulitis underwent biopsies, and recurrent cancer was found in 1 patient. Recurrent cancer did not develop in the patients whose cellulitis resolved within 4 months with a minimum follow-up of 24 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Delayed-onset cellulitis occurs in a small percentage of patients with breast cancers treated by conservation therapy. The cellulitis may take several weeks to clear, and/or it may recur or persist. If the condition persists after 4 months of therapy, a biopsy should be performed to rule out recurrent cancer. ... stractPlus

Cellulitis of the breast as a complication of breast-conserving surgery and irradiation.

Am J Clin Oncol. 1997 Aug

Hughes LL, Styblo TM, Thoms WW, Schwarzmann SW, Landry JC, Heaton D, Carlson GW, Wood WC.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Breast-conserving therapy (BCT) has become a standard treatment option for patients with early-stage breast cancer. We have observed cellulitis of the treated breast as a complication occurring before, during, and after breast irradiation. The cases of five women (median follow-up, 28 months; range, 24-65 months) who developed cellulitis before (n = 1), during (n = 2), or after (n = 2) breast irradiation were reviewed.

A consecutive series of BCT patients at Emory University was reviewed to determine the incidence of this complication. Four of five women had an axillary dissection, yielding a median of 14 negative lymph nodes (range, 6-22 nodes). Two of four patients developed axillary seromas requiring aspiration. In these four patients, only the breast was irradiated. A fifth patient had no axillary dissection and had breast and supraclavicular/axillary irradiation. The median whole breast dose was 50 Gy (range, 46-50.4 Gy). The clinical features of cellulitis included erythema, edema, tenderness, and warmth in all patients. Cellulitis was a relapsing problem for four of the five patients. The incidence of this complication in our series of BCT patients was approximately 1%.

Cellulitis in the ipsilateral breast can be a relapsing complication of BCT and can be seen before, during, or after breast irradiation. Axillary seromas and aspiration seem to indicate a subset of patients at risk of early cellulitis. Late cellulitis may be caused by a variety of factors related to modifications of vascular and skin integrity by surgery and radiotherapy. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic therapy is recommended. This problem need not interrupt a course of breast irradiation, and does not necessarily lead to a poor cosmetic result.

Lippincott Williams and Wilkins ... 45!8091!-1


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